Alaskans Sound Off on Newly Approved Genetically Edited Salmon
Jillian: Recently the FDA has approved the first genetically modified fish for human consumption in the U.S. We asked Alaskans for their thoughts on the AquAdvantage salmon.
Jillian: Benjamin Mobeck, a Sand Point village elder responds to the question “Would you eat AquAdvantage Salmon?” (audio) _______________________
Chloe: I interviewed Glen Gardner, the mayor of Sand Point. He said he thinks that AquAdvantage will affect Alaska fisheries because people are looking for Alaskan salmon. He also insists that Alaska has to get on the bandwagon to promote Alaska wild salmon.
Jillian: Dick Jacobsen, Chairman of the Aleut Corporation and Captain of F/V Miss Ingrid, says…..(audio) _______________________
Chloe: I also interviewed my gram, Ivy Gardner, who I think is the smartest person I know. She said that she thinks genetically modified salmon is a bunch of bull, that we don’t need altered salmon when we have wild salmon.
Jillian: For a teenager’s perspective, we spoke to Colten Mack, a junior at Sand Point school who commercial fishes. When asked if he would eat AquAdvantage Salmon, Colten said, “No, because I’ve been around salmon my whole life and I would not want them to be any different”
Evan: I emailed Sam Cotton, the current director of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and asked if he thought genetically editing animals is a good or bad thing. He responded by saying: “Purely as an Alaskan [who] has been involved with Wild salmon fisheries and stocks since I was about your age, any threat, perceived or real, that might have a slight chance of impacting Alaskan Salmon either biologically or the markets that support the Commercial and Sport fishing industries is cause for concern. The genetic manipulations and combining selected genes from three different species is fascinating from a science perspective, but troubling from a biological perspective.”
Jillian: For the past few weeks as a senior english class we have been researching GMO salmon and have reached out to many Alaskans for their opinions, which have helped us to form ours:
Evan: We wouldn’t eat or buy genetically modified salmon.
Chloe: Because we feel that genetically modified fish could affect our way of life in Sand Point, Alaska,
Jillian: and AquAdvantage salmon could potentially hurt our fishing industry in the future.
Reporting from 830 am KSDP this is Jillian, Chloe, and Evan. Thanks for listening.