Saturday, August 2, 2014

Introduction to Frankenfish.com

Frankenfish.com

Frankenfish.com is dedicated to the study and discussion of fish species not native to the waters in which they live. This site also offers a number of ways for the scholar, sportsman or family to further their study of Frankenfish or enjoyment of fishing in general. Finally, Frankenfish.com offers a number of products for sale. Frankenfish... [Continue Reading...]

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Genetically Engineered Salmon – Does Mother Nature Approve?

For the first time in history, genetically engineered fish are likely to be approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (US – FDA www.fda.com ) for sale and consumption in the United States. Although genetically engineered plant products have been consumed world wide for years, the advent of genetically engineered fish and meat is generating renewed concern and debate about the safety and perpetuity of the general food chain.

The company at the center of this debate is Aqua Bounty Technologies. Aqua Bounty Technologies has created genetically engineered Salmon, Trout, and Tilapia. The first of these, an Atlantic Salmon clone, is under review by the FDA. Preliminary reviews by FDA officials suggest a bias toward approving this Frankenfish for consumption in the United States. Documents released by FDA staff said the altered salmon are “as safe to eat as food from other Atlantic salmon.” The agency said it found “no biologically relevant differences” in vitamins, minerals or fatty acids.

About Aqua Bounty Technologies

AquaBounty Technologies is a biotechnology company focused on improving productivity in commercial aquaculture, an $86 billion industry and the fastest growing segment of the worldwide food industry. Aqua Bounty strives to apply biotechnology to ensure the availability of high quality seafood to meet global consumer demand.

Aqua Bounty History

AquaBounty was originally incorporated in 1991, under the name A/F Protein, to pursue the commercial development of antifreeze protein-based technology under license from the University of California at Berkeley.

In 1996, A/F Protein acquired a license to the AquAdvantage® technology from the University of Toronto and Memorial University of Newfoundland, and was subsequently reorganized in 2000, as two separate entities: A/F Protein, which retained the antifreeze protein technology; and, AquaBounty Farms, which obtained the AquAdvantage® technology.

AquaBounty Farms, headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, changed its name in 2004, to AquaBounty Technologies. In 2006, AquaBounty Technologies was listed in the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) raising $28 million in an initial public offering.

For more details about Aqua Bounty Technologies, please refer to: http://www.aquabounty.com/.

“Blue Revolution”

Aqua Bounty strives to play a significant role in the “The Blue Revolution”. The Blue Revolution is the convergence of biological sciences and molecular technology, the purpose of which is to advance the aquaculture industry, enabling large-scale, efficient, and environmentally sustainable production of high quality seafood. According to Aqua Bounty, “increased growth rates, enhanced resistance to disease, better food-conversion rates, manageable breeding cycles, and more efficient use of aquatic production systems are all important components of sustainable aquaculture industry of the future.”

Economics
The approval and success of the genetically engineered salmon is vital to Aqua Bounty Technologies success. AquaBounty originally filed for U.S. approval of the salmon in 1995. In 2009, it saw a $4.8 million net loss after restructuring in 2008 to preserve cash and focus on completing FDA’s approval process. However, on the promise of the Salmon Frankenfish, Aqua Bounty stock rose as much as 75 percent on pre-FDA decision hype.

Pro

Aqua Bounty Technologies Genetically Engineered Salmon Pros Aqua Bounty Technologies Genetically Engineered Salmon Pros

1. Grow Fast

AquAdvantage fish, are genetically engineered to grow twice as fast and reach maturity much earlier than natural Atlantic salmon. According to a post on Aqua Bounty’s web site, AquAdvantage® salmon’s accelerated growth comes from the addition of a growth hormone gene from the Chinook salmon. The Chinook growth hormone is the same as the Atlantic salmon growth hormone; it is simply regulated differently. Their ability to grow faster does not change the biological make-up of the fish – they are the same biologically and nutritionally as natural Atlantic salmon.

Although a Frankenfish salmon, this advancement provides compelling economic benefit to farmers (reduced growing cycle) as well as enhanced economic viability of inland fish farming operations, thus diminishing the need for ocean pens.

2. Replace dwindling population
The Aqua Bounty salmon will reduce stress on natural salmon populations. Further, they could positively impact the nation’s fish farming sector and reduce environmental damage.

3. Safe to Eat and Nutrient Rich
The FDA agrees that the Aqua Bounty Frankenfish salmon are “as safe to eat as natural Atlantic salmon.” The agency said it found “no biologically relevant differences” in vitamins, minerals or fatty acids.

4. Reproductively sterile
Salmon grown from AquAdvantage® eggs are all female and sterile, making it impossible for them to breed. In addition, in order to achieve approval, the FDA has required that physically contained systems be built, thus significantly reducing the possibility of accidental mixing of AquaAdvantage and natural populations.

5. Advances Science
It is clear that as a result of over fishing, natural fish resources are in rapid decline. For many fish species, the only hope for survival is for humans to stop fishing. Given the global demand for food this is unlikely to happen unless alternative food sources can be located or created. Short of reducing world human populations, it is incumbent upon governments, businesses, educational institutions and the general public to work together to do whatever possible to improve fish farming. Improvement of fish farming ultimately comes down to scientists who are able to create a healthier environment for fish in fish farms by eradicating disease, improving growing conditions, and improving fish health.

6. Multiple Containment Measures
The chances of Frankenfish salmon escaping from production or growing facilities and reproducing was “extremely small” thanks in part to multiple containment measures.

According to Aqua Bounty, contained, land based aqua farming systems are endorsed by most environmental groups because they are more environmentally sensible and are a responsible alternative to traditional sea-cage farming of salmon.”


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Con

Aqua Bounty Technologies Genetically Engineered Salmon Cons Aqua Bounty Technologies Genetically Engineered Salmon – Cons

1. What would happen if Frankenfish salmon were released into the wild?

Although the Aqua Bounty salmon are genetically sterile, there is always the possibility that a batch of eggs might not be sterile.

2. Possibly destroy indigenous fish

We do not know what would happen to indigenous fish should a population of the Frankenfish salmon be accidentally released. The concern is that the genetically altered salmon would crowd native species.

3. “Playing God” and Public Policy Issues

The Aqua Bounty salmon, are, indeed, Frankenfish, and though every effort will be made to contain the salmon, there are inherent dangers when messing with Mother Nature.

4. While these fish might be bread in physically contained systems, history teaches us that eventually there will be breaches to the system either by accident or ill-intended individuals.

5. Unknown allergic impact

At this time, little study has been completed regarding the impact genetically altered salmon will have on human auto-immune systems.


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Genetically Engineered Salmon-Feeding the World or Playing with fire? Genetically Engineered Salmon-Feeding the World or Playing with fire?

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