Damn Science and Consumer Interests! Congress Moves to Ban Biotech Salmon


The ridiculously hypercautious Food and Drug Administration has slowly inched towards approving the sale of farm-raised biotech salmon developed by AquaBounty. The biotech salmon have a gene from other fish species installed that enables them to grow faster using about 10 percent less feed than regular farm-raised salmon. Already aquaculture provides 50 percent of the fish that people eat around the world. Enhancing farmed fish production could relieve pressure on the world's already way overfished [PDF] wild fisheries. So biotech fish are a win for consumers and the environment. But that's not how certain members of Congress see it. As the AP reports:

The House has moved to prohibit the Food and Drug Administration from approving genetically modified salmon for human consumption.

The FDA is set to decide this year whether to approve the modified fish, which grows twice as fast as the natural variety. An advisory panel said last year that the fish appears to be safe to eat but more studies may be needed before it is served on the nation's dinner tables.

If the salmon is approved, it would be the first time the government allowed such modified animals to be marketed for human consumption.

Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young offered the amendment to a farm spending bill, and it was approved Wednesday by voice vote. Young argued that the modified fish would compete with wild salmon in his state.

As public choice theory predicts: If the buggy whip industry can't prevail in the market, its lobbyists will seek to prevail in Congress.