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Jun 24, 2016

Genetically modified salmon could help people and the environment (opinion)

In early May, for the fourth time, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon rejected as ineffective a federal plan for recovering the salmon population of the Columbia River. But with 13 salmon and steelhead species in the basin listed as endangered, it is time to try strategies that do not depend on litigation that has already run almost a quarter century. For example, the Food and Drug Administration recently approved a kind of fast-growing salmon that is so much less expensive to produce and harvest that it could attract enough consumers to reduce the pressure on wild species populations. And it is farm raised in land-based tanks, so levels of mercury — a heavy metal that accumulates in ocean-based fish — can be kept low. But because this salmon is a "GMO" (that is, genetically modified) consumers may never be allowed to buy it. In the name of the environment, lawmakers have been pressured to erect legal obstacles to its production, while grocery chains, including Issaquah, Washington-based Costco, have succumbed to intimations of harassment if they carry it. Read article here.

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