It took AquaBounty nearly 20 years before they could get FDA approval for genetically modified salmon to hit the US market shelves.
AquAdvantage salmon is a genetically modified (GM) Atlantic salmon developed by AquaBounty Technologies.
A growth hormone-regulating gene from a Pacific Chinook salmon, with a promoter from an ocean pout, was added to the Atlantic salmon’s 40,000 genes.
This gene enables it to grow year-round instead of only during spring and summer.
The purpose of the modifications is to increase the speed at which the fish grows without affecting its ultimate size or other qualities as claimed by AquaBounty technologies.
The fish grows to market size in 16 to 18 months rather than three years.
The approval by FDA is controversial and contested.
The FDA has now instituted a ban on the import of GM salmon until specific labeling guidelines can be put in place, Canada will have no such requirement, which means it could end up being the first country where this fish is sold.
When genetically modified salmon became the very first GMO animal to get the go-ahead from the FDA for sale in the U.S., the reception was generally chilly, with a majority of consumers unwilling to take a chance eating something that has absolutely no established safety record.Consumers and retailers are largely shunning what many are terming “frankenfish.” An impressive number of food retailers – nearly 80 so far and counting – have vowed not to sell GMO salmon in their stores.
More than 11,000 stores now refuse to sell GMO salmon.
Should we be concerned ?
Documents from the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans called into question the safety and viability of the fish.
The paper notes that GM salmon is more susceptible to disease-causing bacteria such as Aeromonas salmonicida.
They also show that it does not actually grow faster than unmodified salmon.
In addition, there are concerns that the genetically modified fish could eventually escape and interact with native species,
compromising the genetic vitality and health of the world’s wild salmon populations. When this happens, there will be no way to reverse the effects.
The situation is only likely to get worse, with two different types of GMO pork currently in development, along with two types of genetically engineered cows.
Should we be concerned.
According to an article published in Time Nov 2015 they raised the issue of GMO salmon and things which could be of concern.
The 7 key concerns answered in the article were. You can read the full article click here.
- Is the safe to eat genetically modified salmon?
- Will the consumer know which salmon is genetically modified and which are not?
- Is it the first approved GMO animal approved for sale in the United States?
- Why are some people against GMOs?
- What if the GMO salmon gets into the wild somehow?
- Will changing the genes harm the fish?
- Where will the genetically modified salmon be sold?