September 22nd, 2010
08:49 AM ET

Food policy expert talks safety of modified salmon

The Food and Drug Administration is considering right now - and have been for the past few days - whether to allow genetically engineered salmon to be sold in grocery stores.

The industry says it is safe but critics aren’t convinced. William Hallman, director of the food policy institute at Rutgers, joined CNN's American Morning, to discuss what implications there may be introducing the product into stores and what consumers need to know.

Kiran Chetry: Is it safe?

William Hallman: Well, the FDA says it is. What the scientists are saying is they can find really no differences between this genetically modified salmon and conventionally bred salmon.

John Roberts: You have to wonder, though, if you're bathing it in growth hormone 12 months of the year as opposed to staging it in seasons and cycles, might you be introducing something into the food chain there that people could react to maybe a food allergy?

William Hallman: Well, that's a question that the FDA has really looked at. And you know, you as a human being are bathed in growth hormone all the time, as well. It's just a question of really how much. This is a natural hormone. It's not anything that's unnatural. It just allows the fish to grow winter and summer.

John Roberts: Shouldn't consumers have - and don't they want the right to know?

William Hallman: Well, yeah, and that's the other side of the argument. What environmental groups and consumer groups are saying is that consumers should have sovereignty. They have the right to know. They should get a chance to choose which of the products they want to take home and feed to their families. But what the FDA is saying, well, if you label this as genetically modified, people will interpret that as a warning label. And that's almost kind of a false advertising, it implies something that isn't true.

Read more on American Morning's blog

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soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Rob Conklin

    Many years ago they tried this with Bees, they ended up making what we now call Killer Bees.

    September 22, 2010 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Leon

      Really?? Where did you get your information?

      September 22, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  2. Beth

    I just want to thank you for reporting this to us. I truly believe the introduction of growth hormones into our food chain has had more serious repercussions than we realize. I did some research and learned that after the introduction of rBHG in our milk supply, breast cancer in the US went up 55%. The secondary hormone that is produced by the cow due to growth hormone increases the production of epithelial breast tissue in humans. Growth hormones are not a good thing!

    Please continue to keep us informed. Thank you!

    September 22, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ed Says Enough!

    Genetic modified salmon is BALONEY!
    What consumer would to eat this BALONEY?
    The FDA is full of BALONEY!
    What consumer would be stupid enough to trust FDA's BALONEY?

    September 22, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |