Rick Moonen says GMO salmon is "Frankenfish"
September 15th, 2010
09:45 AM ET
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Rick Moonen is an acclaimed chef who runs the restaurant RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, and is the author of the cookbook Fish Without a Doubt: The Cook's Essential Companion. For the past 20 years, he has been one of the country's leading advocates for the sustainable seafood movement. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

I am and always will be completely against any food that has been altered genetically for human consumption. And never, in the 30-plus years I have been a restaurant chef, has one customer requested a genetically modified organism for dinner.

This is why I was alarmed to learn early this month that the Food and Drug Administration announced with "reasonable certainty" that a new genetically modified Atlantic salmon awaiting approval posed "no harm" to humans who might soon have the opportunity to buy it and eat it as though it were a fish from nature. The announcement brings this "Frankenfish" one step closer to your table.

But make no mistake. The creation of this fish is just another tactic for big industry to make bigger, faster profits with no consideration for the impact it will have on our personal health and the health of our environment and ecosystem.

CNN Opinion has the FULL STORY

Previously - Rick Moonen on 5 fish that could use a break and we explore what "sustainable" seafood means

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Filed under: Celebrity Chefs • Environment • FDA • Fishing • Food Politics • GMO • News • Ocean • Rick Moonen • Sustainability

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soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Navybat

    This guy (Moonen) is an IDIOT. This type of fear-mongering, "the sky is falling", the "frankenfish is coming to get you" hysteria has no basis in fact and is pure salesmanship, trying to get his name in the paper.

    Fish is the only animal we routinely serve as "wild game", and now that we're trying to do the sensible thing of "farming" them as we do with EVERY OTHER food animal, he's going crazy. We inject cattle with antibiotics and growth hormones, grow veal and chickens in overcrowded conditions, slaughter baby sheep in the fields and have been doing so for DECADES. Why? Because our population is growing, and these innovations increase productivity of the product (meat protein).

    And yet NOW this nutjob is spewing this unmitigated CRAP? In 30 years he claims NO ONE has requested a "genetically modified organism for dinner"? Has he EVER served corn? Wheat? If he has, HE'S A LIAR!!! These organisms have been genetically modified as long as we can remember, and for animals, meat is meat. Changes at the DNA level, which is a single long chain molecule broken up into chromosomes in the nucleus of a cell, have NO effect on taste, texture, or healthiness, as long as cow meat, for example, still comes FROM A COW.

    This disgusting "HELP ME, IT'S ALL A BIG PLOT FROM THE EVIL CORPORATIONS" chef has NO IDEA what he's talking about. Thanks, CNN, for bringing this wacko to the forefront. I needed a good laugh. Now he should crawl back under his log and let the scientists who are trying to solve world hunger get to it.

    September 16, 2010 at 9:22 am |
    • Jasmine

      Are you kidding? Have you ever heard of anything called organic? Because our food industry has been bought by the corporations and won't force labeling of GMO products, buying something labeled organic is how you know if it is natural and not genetically modified. That's how Moonen avoids serving garbage fake foods to his customers. And there has been decades of research and debate as to the long-term health effects of these products and you think you have it all figured out already? If you did a little research of your own you would discover some of the arguments on the other side, what it has done to people's health and how it is effecting farmers. Those of us who care about our health and refuse to eat these type of freakish, scary, unproven, food-like substances applaud people like Moonen who are picky about what they'll serve to their customers. And that's why businesses like his are doing well and trditional companies are scrambling in attempt to appear healthy. You may be ok eating cows with all that crap injected into them, but that's only because you don't know what you're talking about.
      Do a little more research and you'll find out about how countries likes Ethiopia are finally solving their hunger and food supply issues by banning GMO crops and going back to traditional, organic farming. For the first time in recent history they are actually making progress to feed their people well. Not the agri-farming chemical nonsense our country uses. But it is organic farming is what is finally making the difference. Try reading something other than a McDonald's menu and you'll be amazed at what youlearn.

      September 21, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
  2. Jim Hawk III

    Now I gotta head out to the LV and order me up some GMO fish at RM Seafood. Then I can create a scene when he won't serve it.

    I guess everybody has something they need to be a jerk about.

    September 15, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
  3. SueDS

    Humans have been genetically modifying food for human consumption for about 10,000 years. I doubt we eat any foods that haven't been altered, bred, or domesticated from their wild (and sometimes inedible) counterparts.

    September 15, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
    • ThaChumz

      It's true that humans have been messing with genetics since the first time someone picked which two animals mate and which flower gets cross pollinated....but that's more natural compared to gene guns and directly messing with an animals DNA. But it's due to GMO's that we CAN suffer from obesity instead of a famine so we're damned either way. I would still try some GMO salmon though

      September 16, 2010 at 2:09 am |
  4. Truth

    I am with Moonen on this one. I am getting to the point that most of the fish we eat is what I personally catch and clean myself. .

    September 15, 2010 at 10:55 am |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants


      September 15, 2010 at 11:38 am |
      • RichardHead

        I think Truth means he catches the fish and then cleans himself. He gets so excited especially if the fish looks like Obama.

        September 15, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants


        September 15, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
    • deathbydonuts

      agreed. But i don't fish, I buy wild salmon at costco

      September 15, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
    • Navybat

      And that polluted stream behind your house, the one downstream of the sewage treatment plant? I think THAT is a worse hazard to your health than this genetically modified fish.

      September 16, 2010 at 9:24 am |
  5. Jdizzle McHammerpants


    September 15, 2010 at 10:25 am |
    • SPOCK

      Would you like some Charmin and fries with that sir?

      September 15, 2010 at 10:29 am |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        Just the fries. Toilet paper is for liberals only.

        (Shout out to Truth on that one. Conservatives refuse to spend money frivolously on such things.)

        September 15, 2010 at 11:40 am |
      • Truth

        Actually, it is the liberals who wait until they are in a public building, and then use the bathrooms there, thus never having to buy their own toilet paper. Or healthcare, or pay taxes, etc.

        September 15, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
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