Daily Management Review

The United States Allowed Eating Genetically Modified Salmon


11/20/2015


US regulators allowed production and consumption of genetically modified salmon, said Department of Health and Human Services of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).



Lisac Mark, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Lisac Mark, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
FDA has been conducting research for several years. As a result, the organization determined that salmon AquAdvantage, manufactured by AquaBounty Technologies, is safe for human consumption and "will not have a significant impact on the environment." This is the first time when the regulator has approved genetically modified products of animal origin edible, says FT.

 AquAdvantage is Atlantic salmon with embedded DNA. The genes trigger more rapid growth compared with conventional Atlantic salmon. Some opponents already called the genetically modified fish “Frankenfish”, notes Bloomberg.

The salmon, approved by FDA, will be grown in land-based hatcheries in Canada and Panama. FDA claims that it was persuaded by "multiple and redundant measures taken for maintenance of fish and prevent it from falling and living in the outside environment."

The main owner of AquaBounty is the American biotechnology company Intrexon. This year, Intrexon purchased Oxitec, a private British company, developing a project on creation of genetically modified insects to control diseases transmitted by mosquitoes.

Reluctance of consumers to buy genetically modified plant and animal products is stronger in Europe than in the United States. The European administrative are also much higher, notes the Financial Times.
Strong community activists in the US oppose GMO products too. They have already condemned FDA’s decision. Besides, the environmentalists have long opposed the product’s approval. In their view, the safety’s confirmation is based on inadequate investigations, and ingress of the genetically modified fish in sea or a river may affect wild salmons’ populations.

The fighters for the preservation of the environment prompted the US grocery chains to boycott AquAdvantage, when it goes to market. According to insiders, this may not happen before 2017.

FDA noted that the salmon cages and pipes are fenced to prevent migration of fish and eggs. Individual genetically modified salmons are sterile, emphasizes the governance. "AquAdvantage Salmon is a revolutionary product delivering a healthy and nutritious food to consumers. It is responsible for the environment, and does not harm the ocean and other marine life," - said Executive director of AquaBounty Ronald Stotish.

Some retailers are not prepared to sell such a product, notes Reuters. One of the largest US grocery store chains Kroger Co does not intend to buy and sell the genetically reared salmon, told the company spokesman Keith Dailey. Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Market Inc. have similar plans.
Target Corp. refused farmed salmon to the wild in 2010, marking the first step in long-term optimization of the seafood assortment, said the company’s spokesman. According to him, the company has no plans to offer GMO salmon to buyers.

source: reuters.com






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