Gene-Altered Giant Salmon Cannibals

This story starts to help us appreciate the potential disastrous ecological consequences of unleashing man-made breeds of fish. Aggressive, gene-modified salmon gobble up most of the feed when raised in tanks with ordinary salmon AND they also gobbled up their weaker competitors--including their own type.

Hundreds of thousands of Atlantic salmon have escaped into Northwest waters from salmon farms over the past several years when floating pens were ripped apart by storms or marauding sea lions. The worst-case scenario involving transgenic fish is the "Trojan gene" hypothesis in which genetically engineered salmon outcompete normal fish for food and mates, leading to less-hardy hybrids and the eventual extinction of the entire wild population.

If you haven't read my article "Why Genetically Modified Fish Are a Disaster Waiting to Happen" I would encourage you to do so as it has a link to the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology Report (a Washington-based, non-profit group).

Seattle Times June 8, 2004

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