Genetically Engineered Salmon Closer to Reality



The day of buying genetically engineered salmon, or ordering it from a restaurant, is one step closer as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared another hurdle for test-tube fish to make its way into the marketplace.

The FDA announced on Friday that it had determined that AquAdvantage Atlantic salmon, engineered by AquBounty Technology to grow twice as fast as normal salmon, will have “no significant impact” on the environment.

The New York Times reports that the federal agency concluded that "food from AquAdvantage salmon is as safe as food from conventional Atlantic salmon, and that there is a reasonable certainty of no harm from consumption." The FDA will gather public comments until March before issuing its final assessment.

The AquAdvantage salmon would be an all-female population with eggs produced in a facility on Prince Edward Island in Canada and shipped to a so-called "grow-out facility" in Panama, where they would be harvested for processing.

But biotechnology critics said the genetically engineered salmon "has no socially redeeming value."

“It’s bad for the consumer, bad for the salmon industry and bad for the environment. FDA’s decision is premature and misguided," said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety.