World Bulletin / News Desk
The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved a genetically modified animal for human consumption – a first for the agency.
The salmon, officially named the AquAdvantage Salmon, is a genetically modified version of Atlantic Salmon. Created by AquaBounty Technologies, the salmons’ genes are modified to allow the fish to reach market size far faster than normal farm-raised salmon.
“The FDA has thoroughly analyzed and evaluated the data and information submitted by AquaBounty Technologies regarding AquAdvantage Salmon and determined that they have met the regulatory requirements for approval, including that food from the fish is safe to eat,” Bernadette Dunham, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, said in the announcement.
The AquAdvantage Salmon recombinant DNA (rDNA) to grow quickly, but the FDA found that it was just as nutritious as non-modified salmon. The ruling comes five years after the agency’s scientists announced that the fish was safe for human consumption.
The agency ruled, however, that AquAdvantage salmon sold in the United States must be raised on land at two specific facilities in Canada and Panama. Measures included in the approval included several physical barriers meant to keep the fish and their eggs from leaving the facilities and potentially infiltrating wild populations of salmon.
Critics have expressed concern that genetically modified animals could escape into wild populations and change the genetic makeup of the species.
“We’re extremely concerned about the risks to the future of wild Atlantic salmon,” according to a statement Thursday from Mark Butler of Canadian environmental group Ecology Action Centre, a group that is suing the Canadian government for granting approval to AquaBounty to manufacture genetically modified salmon on Prince Edward Island.
Genetically modified organism opponents are calling AquAdvantage Salmon a “Frankenfish” and are angry the U.S. government will not require AquaBounty to label its salmon as genetically modified.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest issued a statement that was critical of the labeling of the engineered fish.
"While FDA will not require that GE [geneticially engineered] salmon steaks be labeled, it is critical that the marketing of GE salmon products be transparent. Consumers who want information about the GE salmon should be able to obtain it, either on the label, in printed materials associated with the product, on a website, or through other communications," said the group’s Biotechnology Director Gregory Jaffe.
The FDA recommends concerned customers should always buy wild caught salmon, which cannot be genetically modified.
Last Mod: 20 Kasım 2015, 09:49