Daily Management Review

World’s First Genetically-Modified Animal To Enter Food Supply Is Salmon


08/13/2017




For the first time, about 5 tons of genetically-modified (GM) salmon fillets was sold to unnamed customers in Canada, said AquaBounty Technologies in Maynard, Massachusetts.
 
By reaching adult size in some 18 months as compared to 30 months, these genetically modified fish can reportedly grow twice as fast as conventionally-farmed Atlantic salmon. The genetically modified salmon consumes 20 to 25 percent less food per gram of new flesh, AquaBounty has also claimed.
 
"The sale and discussions with potential buyers clearly demonstrate that customers want our fish, and we look forward to increasing our production capacity to meet demand," said Ronald Stotish, chief executive of AquaBounty, in a statement.
 
The genetically modified salmon was reported to be the first genetically-modified animal to be approved for human consumption after AquaBounty salmon was approved in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration in 2015. But until labeling guidelines were established, the FDA issued a ban on the import and sale of GM fish within a matter of weeks after the approval was granted.
 
The firm's Atlantic salmon grow much faster than normal because they are modified with a growth hormone gene from Chinook salmon. That gene is the reason for the faster growth.
 
However, some of the grocery retailers have opposed genetically modified salmon sale. Saying on their website that they do not intend to sell genetically-modified salmon, two major grocery chains in Canada, IGA and Costco, have posted opposition to such sale.
 
The sale makes Canadians "guinea pigs" and the federal government should introduce labeling so consumers can identify it as a GM product, the Montreal-based environmentalist group GMO Vigilance has said on its website.
 
"It's a world first … The first genetically modified animal is on the market, and consumers in Quebec and Canada will become the first guinea-pigs unknowingly. In the absence of mandatory labeling we still cannot make an informed choice," said Thibault Rehn, a coordinator at Vigilance GMO.
 
AquaBounty said its fish are sterile and are only being raised in landlocked tanks in response to some concerns have also been raised about cross breeding with wild fish.
 
(Source:www.cnbc.com) 






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