Monster Salmon and Butterflies

59 mins2010

Genetically engineered crops are already in the food supply, and now the race is on to develop and market genetically modified livestock as well, including salmon, which are being engineered to grow twice as large as normal salmon in half the time. Critics are alarmed at the lack of independent research and testing for the longer-term risks to both humans and animals.

Bio-engineered crops and animals can represent huge profits, and whenever large sums of money are involved, there is usually an abundance of hurry and an absence of caution. There is also an abundance of industry-sponsored researchers and a much, much smaller percentage of independent scientists looking at genetic engineering. Moneyed interests hold sway with politicians, and so efforts to at least require labeling have been thwarted so far. As such, the public interest is poorly represented, and so humans are sentenced to become unsuspecting guinea pigs in a big-money game.

The filmmakers look at the history to date of genetic engineering with the many failed experiments – experiments on mice, sheep, pigs and cows, to name a few – and the unanticipated side effects. Fears abound about GM animals escaping containment and merging with the wild population, with unknown consequences. In a properly functioning democracy, such risky experiments would not be undertaken without the informed consent of the people.