Just last year it seemed almost inevitable that genetically engineered Frankenfish would soon be readily available to American consumers. But some lawmakers, like Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, are a little creeped out by the idea and are holding up FDA approval. Murkowski told the AP that the idea of eating Frankenfish "kind of gives me the heebie jeebies."
Naturally, this isn't sitting well with AquaBounty Technologies, a
Frankenfish laboratory biotechnology company that has been waiting 15 years for the FDA's approval of its application, which would allow the company to sell its marquee, tasty-sounding product, AquAdvantage® Salmon. Put simply, AquaBounty Technologies' "objective is the application of biotechnology to ensure the availability of high quality seafood to meet global consumer demand." Hm, sounds interesting. So, how does it work?
In the case of the salmon, AquaBounty has added a growth hormone from a Chinook salmon that allows the fish to produce growth hormone all year long. The engineers were able to keep the hormone active by using another gene from an eel-like fish called an ocean pout that acts like an on switch for the hormone. Typical salmon produce the growth hormone only some of the time.
What could possibly go wrong here?