Genetically Engineered Salmon: Will You Eat It? Will You Know?

The stage is set. After a draft assessment released last week, the FDA has now stated publicly its belief that the genetically engineered Atlantic Salmon known as “AquAdvantage” (or less lovingly, “Frankenfish) is unlikely to pose a threat to the environment and is safe for human consumption. While this approval process has been underway for 15 years, these major hurdles have been overcome only in the last 2 years. Although the official approval is pending, and it may be a couple years beyond that before we see these fish at the seafood counter, it is widely believed that last week’s report marks the final obstacle to be cleared.

With the man-given ability to grow year-round rather than only during spring and summer, these salmon will grow to market size twice as fast as normal farm-raised or wild salmon. In order to mitigate the environmental consequences of such a fish getting into the wild, AquaBounty (the company behind GE Salmon) will raise only sterile triploid females (with 3 chromosomes instead of the usual two) at exclusively inland facilities where there is little possibility for escape.  Continue reading “Genetically Engineered Salmon: Will You Eat It? Will You Know?”

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December 2012