If you reel in your fishing line in southern Idaho to find a two-headed trout staring back, it's ... no big deal? The New York Times explains: The JR Simplot Company wants the federal government to allow higher levels of the mining byproduct selenium to appear in local waterways. The company study backing up its argument included photos of mutant fish, including a two-headed trout, tucked discreetly into an appendix.
The mutants were actually raised in a lab, but they were offspring of local fish caught in the wild. The images have set off a major debate involving scientists, environmentalists, and the company, as the FDA's final ruling on Simplot's request could have national implications. "In my research, I have seen lots of malformed baby fish, but never one with two heads,” says an expert at the University of Saskatchewan.