Canada OKs production of GM salmon eggs on commercial scale


Canada has given the go-ahead to commercial production of genetically modified salmon eggs, bringing the world’s first GM food animal closer to supermarkets and dinner tables.

…Environment Canada said it had granted a US biotechnology firm, AquaBounty Technologies permission to export up to 100,000 GM fish eggs a year from a hatchery in Prince Edward Island to a site high in the Panamanian rainforest.

The decision marked the first time any government had given the go-ahead to commercial scale production involving a GM food animal.

The move clears the way for AquaBounty to scale up production of the salmon at its sites in PEI and Panama in anticipation of eventual approval by American authorities…

AquaBounty has been raising GM salmon for several years on an experimental basis, growing fish eggs at a lab in PEI and then flying them to a ramshackle test site at a secretive inland location in the Panamanian rainforest, where they were grown to full size, and then ultimately destroyed.

The GM fish splices growth genes from a Chinook salmon and a seal eel onto an Atlantic salmon – which AquaBounty claims enables the altered animal to grow twice as fast as a regular fish

The company has also fought to win over the public to the idea of GM fish. Within the last year, supermarket chains such as Whole Foods and Trader Joes, have said they will not stock GM salmon…

But Stotish said in the statement the company planned to go into commercial production once those other approvals are in place.

About as overdue as any science-based product facing irrational fear and superstition might be. Aside from folks never having been able to distinguish any difference between like-prepared samples of these salmon and other quality spec farm-raised varieties, there hasn’t been any peer-reviewed science that demonstrated differences – dangerous or otherwise – about these salmon.

Cripes, the Luddites probably wouldn’t eat any kind of eel on their own either.

Diesel, hybrid sales surpass overall US market growth rate

Hybrid sales have grown rapidly in the US during the past couple of years – well outpacing the overall automotive market – and it looks like diesel sales are beginning to follow that trajectory as well.

US hybrid light-duty vehicle registrations have jumped 34 percent from 2010 through the end of 2012 and diesel sales are up 24 percent to about 797,000 from about 641,000 two years earlier, diesel advocate Diesel Technology Forum says (citing a study conducted by R.L. Polk at the DLF’s request). The important thing to note is that, during the same period, total vehicle registrations were up less than three percent, indicating that more consumers are turning to green vehicles in order to address rising gas prices. It will likely not surprise anyone that California, Massachusetts and New York had the fastest growth rates for diesel sales.

Anyone following parallel questions about education ain’t surprised either. We can argue all day about education methodology; but, when it comes to basics of turning out graduates – the comparison to states that prefer ignorant citizens is dramatic. Educated folks making educated decisions is what it’s about.

Folks interested in quality of life generally extend that interest to their fellow human beings on the planet. It’s only the greediest of owners and power brokers who ignore life on the planet outside the boundaries of their McMansions.