PBS NewsHour Weekend

People are eating more fish than ever, and a third of global stocks are threatened by overfishing. A small company says its genetically engineered salmon can help meet the demand, as critics say it’s a step in the wrong direction. NewsHour Weekend’s Megan Thompson reports on the GE salmon. This story is part of our “Future of Food” series, hosted by Mark Bittman and supported by the Pulitzer Center.

Tonight we launch PBS NewsHour Weekend special series, “The Future of Food.” Over the coming months, we’ll focus on stories around the world where efforts to fight food scarcity and waste are ongoing. Here’s author Mark Bittman to introduce our first story in the series on the debate over genetically modified salmon.

Fish is an important protein source for many people around the world, and we are eating more of it than ever before. And with one-third of the world’s stocks overfished, aquaculture has taken off – tripling production in the last twenty years. Yet to date, fish farming has struggled with environmental problems just like land-based farming has. One small company is producing a genetically engineered salmon it says could help solve some of these problems and help meet the world’s demand. Others say it’s a dangerous step in the wrong direction. Megan Thompson has more.

If you fly to the tiny province of Prince Edward Island on Canada’s eastern coast, then drive about an hour east out of the capital city, you’ll finally come to a small, unmarked building guarded by a chain-link fence. There’s nothing special about it outside. But inside is another story.

These tanks contain the only genetically engineered animal in the world that’s been deemed safe to eat: Atlantic salmon modified to grow faster.

Using new technology is an intelligent way to meet the global food security needs of the future.

View the video / read the transcript / listen to the audio.

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