The FDA Just OK’ed Genetically Modified Salmon

GMO Atlantic salmon with a growth hormone gene gets FDA green light to be sold in the US

| Cathy Siegner, March 12, 2019

Food Dive – The Food and Drug Administration announced last week it is lifting a 2016 import alert that kept genetically modified salmon and salmon eggs from coming into the country until labeling guidelines were adopted.

This means AquaBounty Technologies can legally bring its GMO AquAdvantage Salmon eggs into the U.S. from Canada and grow the fish for food at the company’s contained facility in Indiana.

[The list of invasive plants and animals that have escaped “contained facilities” is long. Invasive species have cost Americans billions of dollars and have permanently degraded the natural environment — Asian carp, feral hogs, Burmese pythons, gray squirrels, purple loosestrife, kudzu, starlings, the list goes on. – Editor]

The FDA makes risk-based evaluations of what it calls “intentional genomic alterations” in animals to ultimately be sold for consumption, according to the release.

In 2015, the agency had determined that the AquAdvantage Salmon was “safe to eat,” but activists staunchly opposed its approval. Imported Catfish? Throw It Back

The agency said it no longer has authority to issue labeling guidelines for GMO products such as AquAdvantage Salmon since the U.S. Department of Agriculture is now in charge of implementing mandatory standards for disclosing whether a food is bioengineered following the recent adoption of the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard.

Lifting the import alert is a big step for GMO products and clears the way for AquAdvantage Salmon to hit the market — potentially as soon as next year, barring other regulatory obstacles.

To date, it’s the only genetically modified animal the FDA has approved for human consumption, according to Politico.

The company’s genetically modified fish — Atlantic salmon with a growth hormone gene from the Pacific Chinook variety and a gene from the ocean pout species — will quickly grow to a size that can be used for sale in a land-based freshwater tank system near Albany, Indiana, according to Feedstuffs.

The company is also growing genetically modified salmon at its facility on Prince Edward Island, Canada, and is setting up operations in Brazil, Argentina, Israel and China. Read more. 


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