Members of the Muckleshoot Food Sovereignty Project and Community Alliance for Global Justice seasoned, cooked and served hundreds of pieces of wild coho salmon Saturday for the public who attended a lecture series about their opposition to genetically-engineered salmon.
"We shouldn't mess with DNA," said T.J. Molina, a tribal member who also works for the tribe's fisheries department. "It's wrong."
"When you start switching genes, our biggest worry is escaping and getting into our estuaries, causing disease, cross-breading, those types of things," said Louie Ungaro, also a tribal member.
The groups are worried about a kind of genetically-engineered salmon approved by the Food and Drug Administration and sold by AquaBounty, Inc.
The FDA, which approved the fish in 2015, says the product is safe to eat.
The government also imposed rules to prevent the fish from escaping or mixing with wild species. But that doesn't ease the concerns of the tribes.
They hope by serving up a free lunch, along with speeches and traditional music, they can help sway some minds about the importance of preserving wild salmon.
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