I’m Too Sexy for My Gills
Meanwhile, in other news about fish, a transgenic version of the North Atlantic salmon is the first genetically engineered animal up for review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use as food. The fish looks more or less like its natural cousin, but it grows seven times faster and is, we kid you not, sexier (if you’re a salmon of the opposite sex, that is). Scientists achieved those characteristics by including genes from Chinook salmon and ocean pout fish. Aqua Bounty Farms, of Waltham, Mass., hopes to farm and market the Frankensalmon, but environmentalists fear mutant salmon could escape and disrupt the already-threatened wild population. The fish is likely to join the ranks of cows with bovine growth hormone and genetically modified corn and soybeans as watershed species in the battle over bioengineered foods. Maryland and Oregon already have laws regulating transgenic fish, and Alaska and California are considering outright bans.