Should goats be designed to secrete spider silk in their milk? Should zebrafish glow in the dark? It may sound like science fiction, but it's actually politics. Up for discussion at this St. Pete Beach, Florida, conference is the question of animal ethics, with a focus on giant genetically modified salmon. "Perhaps the most successful and controversial development has been the AquAdvantage salmon," says conference president Lluis Montoliu. The salmon, which mature at twice the normal rate thanks to gene splicing, could help satiate a global market that already gets 60% of its salmon from farms. But research shows GM salmon—"Frankenfish" to some—can breed with wild salmon, potentially altering the animal's genome. Your move, FDA.
A version of this article appeared in the October 2011 issue of Fast Company magazine.