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Posts Tagged: genetically modified organisms

FDA approves fast-growing GMO fish

Size comparison of an AquAdvantage Salmon (background) vs. a non-transgenic Atlantic salmon sibling (foreground) of the same age.
The Food and Drug Administration approved fish that are genetically modified to grow faster, reported Dan Charles on the National Public Radio program All Things Considered.

Charles spoke with a UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) animal science expert about the AquaAdvantage salmon that have now been cleared for production.

"Basically, nothing in the data suggested that these fish were in any way unsafe or different to the farm-raised salmon," said Alison Van Eenennaam, UC ANR Cooperative Extension specialist based in the Animal Science Department at UC Davis.

The GMO fish must be raised in tanks on dry land. Producers must take precautions to prevent the genetically engineered fish from making it to the ocean or other natural waterways where they could transfer the fast-growing gene to a wild salmon population.

Fast-growing salmon were created 25 years ago by inserting a new gene into fertilized salmon eggs. The FDA said in a statement that, "after an exhaustive and rigorous scientific review" the agency decided the GMO fish is as safe as non-GMO Atlantic salmon, and equally nutritious. GMO fish is not subject to mandatory labeling, but the FDA released a "draft guidance" for voluntary labeling indicating whether food has or has not been derived from genetically engineered Atlantic salmon.

The All Things Considered story noted, however, that the product will face PR challenges. Friends of the Earth say people won't eat GMO fish even if it is available; Center for Food Safety said it will sue the FDA to block approval.

Posted on Friday, November 20, 2015 at 11:49 AM

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