Genetic modification ensures future of salmon stocks

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This undated handout photo provided by AquaBounty Technologies shows two same-age salmon, a genetically modified salmon, rear, and a non-genetically modified salmon, foreground. The Food and Drug Administration pondered Monday whether to say, for the first time, that it's OK to market a genetically engineered animal as safe for people to eat. (AP Photo/AquaBounty Technologies)

Editor: Regarding David Campbell’s letter (Get informed about G.M. on December 7) just makes me shake my head at the lack of knowledge of the uninformed general public, who spout forth the mantra of the anti-genetic modification brigade — against every foodstuff they are able to name.

He speaks irreverently of salmon stocks being farmed. If Mr. Campbell wants to consume salmon, along with millions of other inhabitants of this planet, then in a very short time Mr. Campbell, Greenpeace and every tree hugger in the western world would be demanding the fishing of both commercial and recreational salmon stock be banned and or prohibited by all nations. Through the skills of modern science and genetic modification, man has created the ability to end the danger of fishing salmon stocks to extinction.

Mr. Campbell’s idea and image of farming fish stock for the benefit of mankind, and the well-being of our planet’s aquatic fellow occupants of the world, appear to be very selfish. He seems to hold the position it is totally irrelevant that we continue to take in unlimited quantities of the commodity from the wild that will lead eventually to the point of their extinction, without any regard or thought for reproducing the species. By farming and protecting the salmon, we ensure the future of the species, for our fellow man.

Mr. Campbell then continues to heap scorn on the farmers of livestock. Has Mr. Campbell ever worked 12 or more hours a day, seven days a week, for 40 or 50 years, as most farmers left in the business of agriculture are of that age group? He speaks of factory farming — removing the mothering instinct from pigs and cows. I think Mr. Campbell should first of all understand what he is talking about. All of us in agriculture know he is just spouting male bovine faeces. Just come to our farm or any farm on the Island, the Atlantic provinces, Canada or North America, and see nature’s instincts at work.

Let us look at his concept of factory farming. His concept is: the mass rearing or growing of livestock for huge profits by large, multinational conglomerates. The motor industry consists of a handful of manufactures of automobiles. Small companies could not compete with the cheap price of Henry F. and his cronies’ assembly lines, and they fell by the wayside in the ’50s and ’60s.

Look at our poor Island’s condition of the small family farm. Hundreds and hundreds of destitute and derelict farms scatter the sides of every rural road. Why? Because the consumer (buyer of groceries) wants cheap vegetables, cheap milk and cheap meat. Has Mr. Campbell ever tried to grow for his personal use, a chicken, a cow or pig? No. And he has no intention of ever doing that, because it is too difficult and the cost is more than the animal is worth.

That is why our farms and agricultural way of life is in decline, leading to bigger “factory” farms that are taking over the production of food for the public: small profit per unit, compensated by huge numbers of livestock or acres of production. What option does the small farmer have, other than to cease production before / after bankruptcy?

Mr. Campbell, as do most of the protesters against factory farming, has absolutely no qualms against “factory fast food” farms. The golden arches, red haired burger girl, hundreds of pizza joints and deceased hockey player coffee shops. All these establishments are selling mass produced prepared food and drink.

Where does the meat, vegetables, and doughnut mixture originate? We just know it comes from “somewhere else” — and don’t ask where. Mr. Campbell and all the anti-G.M. followers are nothing else than blind faith hypocrites, wallowing in self-righteousness, regurgitating the words of others who profess to know just what is right for mankind.

S. John Newman,

Springfield

Organizations: Greenpeace

Geographic location: Canada, North America

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