Alaska Sens. Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski are on the right track opposing the approval of transgenic salmon, or "Frankenfish," on at least two levels: economic and biological.
On the economic level, the approval of Frankenfish will have huge potential impacts on Alaska's wild salmon markets, which are at this point still recovering their profitability from the setbacks of the Exxon Valdez spill, which caused a huge loss of market share to farmed salmon. Yes, it takes that long to recover your market after having it torpedoed by an oil spill or by the confusion over the safety of a product. Confusion over safety and the inconsistent labeling of fish as to origin, species, or provenance leads consumers to buy something else, like chicken.
Alaska's salmon is a huge part of our state's economy, with hundreds of millions of dollars invested in boats, gear, processing plants, and other infrastructure. Guarding against Frankenfish is important to Alaska.
On the biological level, Frankenfish, if approved as the first transgenic agricultural product, will have far-reaching and unknown consequences for nature and for consumers. Mixing the genes of Atlantic salmon with that of an eelpout to promote accelerated growth (10 times faster than normal) is an "Island of Dr. Moreau" experiment that deserves much more scrutiny for the health of our environment and for the well being of consumers.