FDA Closer to Approving Biotech Salmon, Critics Furious: Scientific American
(Reuters) - A controversial genetically engineered salmon has moved a step closer to the consumer’s dining table after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Friday the fish didn’t appear likely to pose a threat to the environment or to humans who eat it.
AquAdvantage salmon eggs would produce fish with the potential to grow to market size in half the time of conventional salmon. If it gets a final go-ahead, it would be the first food from a transgenic animal - one whose genome has been altered - to be approved by the FDA.
The AquAdvantage Atlantic salmon egg was developed by AquaBounty Technology to speed up production to meet global seafood demand.
In a draft environmental assessment, the FDA affirmed earlier findings that the biotech salmon was not likely to be harmful. It said it would take comments from the public on its report for 60 days before making a final decision on approval.
“With respect to food safety, FDA has concluded that food from AquAdvantage salmon is as safe as food from conventional Atlantic salmon, and that there is a reasonable certainty of no harm from consumption,” the FDA assessment states.
AquaBounty officials said they were caught by surprise by the news that its product was a step closer to approval as years of controversy had followed the company’s application for a go-ahead from the regulator. They said they did not know the timing or details of the process the FDA will follow following the 60-day comment period.
“We are encouraged that the environmental assessment is being released and hope the government continues the science-based regulatory process,” said AquaBounty Chief Executive Ronald Stotish.
Critics say the new salmon is a “dangerous experiment” and have pressured the FDA to reject it. They say the FDA has relied on outdated science and substandard methods for assessing the new fish.
This is not good news. I expect that soon this will be the only kind of fish they will sell at the supermarket.