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GE Salmon: Poll Reveals Consumer Skepticism

Despite the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recent announcement that bioengineered salmon is safe, many are still wary of the idea. 

The Center for Food Safety criticized the FDA’s analysis as misguided and dangerous. Federal tests were “insufficient in determining the long-term, unforeseen consequences” of genetic engineering, said Wenonah Hauter, director of Food & Water Watch.

If environmental and health groups remain suspicious of bioengineered foods, what do consumers think? Although genetically modified salmon would be cheaper to produce and therefore cheaper for consumers, it appears many have their doubts.

The Washington Post polled its readers, asking, “If genetically engineered salmon wins FDA approval, will you buy it?”

Ten percent of those who responded to the unscientific survey said, “Maybe, I’d need to see more research about the possible health and environmental consequences,” while 17 percent selected, “Yes. We already eat genetically engineered crops like corn and soybeans.”

An overwhelming 78 percent responded, “No. I’m too concerned about potential health and environmental risks.”

The FDA will hold two public meetings on GM salmon Sept. 19-21 and then will decide whether to approve the fish.  If the salmon wins approval, AquAdvantage has said it could take up to three years before it would be marketed to consumers.

© Food Safety News
  • Ray

    The fact that most people do not want to eat GM Salmon speaks volumes but we need these products labeled so that we have that choice. Proper labels will most likely prevent products like these from even coming to market in the first place because companies are less likely to invest and introduce products that will not sell. To help make sure the FDA requires proper labeling of these products please consider joining the Food Bloc voting bloc on votingbloc.org here:
    http://www.votingbloc.org/Food_Bloc.php

  • http://biofortified.org Anastasia

    The full wording of the poll was:
    “The Food and Drug Administration is considering approving genetically modified salmon for human consumption. The highly anticipated decision has stirred controversy as it raises concerns about health and environmental risks. If genetically engineered salmon wins FDA approval, will you buy it?”
    Is anyone really surprised that a poll that points out concerns for health and environmental risks would have so many respondents say no? I’d be interested to see what the results would be like without a negative prompt (no prompt), with a positive prompt, and with a full explanation in layman’s terms of the science behind these fish.

  • Peter E. Haydu

    I have no fundamental problem with GM foods, but it’s very important that producers of these foods have stringent oversights in place to minimize health and environmental consequences of the technology. My primary concern is that corporations making use of GM techniques cannot be trusted to put the public interest ahead of their own perceived interest or that of their shareholders.
    Even assuming that proper oversight is put in place, all such food should carry labels clearly identifying it so that consumers can make their own choices.

  • Andrea

    Consider the correlation between health care reform and genetically engineered foods. On one hand, we are being told that our nation is obese and unhealthy, which has created an epic health care crisis. On the other hand, we are being inundated (often times in a circumvent and insidious fashion) with genetically modified foods that have been linked to allergies and other maladies. There’s no telling what research will prove in 20 years. By then… OOPSY!
    Any health care reform that our politicians and lawmakers advocate supposedly in the interest of the American people is complete crap if GE products are allowed to continue to be produced.
    I for one do not eat corn or soy anymore, unless organic – I’m not even sure how safe that is because of cross-pollination potentials. It’s sad to have to be fearful about the food we eat. I guess I will have to take salmon off my list, as well.

  • hm

    Environmental risks? The GMO salmon are triploid organisms, it wouldn’t be able to reproduce even if it did escape. All the GMO salmon contains is a growth gene from another salmon and an anit-freeze gene promoter NOT the gene itself. The salmon does not make any foreign protein. It doesn’t grow bigger than normal wild salmon, it just grows bigger faster than normal wild salmon. As far as food allergies from salmon, sounds a bit absurd because since the GMO salmon is making the same exact proteins a regular salmon would make, how would you develop an allergy to two exact things? If you are already allergic to salmon of course you would be allergic to GMO salmon. Yeah I believe people need to look more into the science of things and not read the BS presented in the media.