FDA Approves GMO Salmon For Human Consumption

AquaBounty spent 20 years trying to get its product approved by the FDA

The GMO salmon (rear) grows faster year round than wild Atlantic salmon (front).

A genetically modified Atlantic salmon that is engineered to grow faster than wild Atlantic salmon may be coming to a restaurant or your dinner table soon as it has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for human consumption. This marks the first time a genetically modified animal has been approved as a food for humans.

“AquAdvantage Salmon is a game-changer that brings healthy and nutritious food to consumers in an environmentally responsible manner without damaging the ocean and other marine habitats,” Ron Stotish, CEO of AquaBounty said in a press release. Using land-based aquaculture systems, this rich source of protein and other nutrients can be farmed close to major consumer markets in a more sustainable manner.”

The AquAdvantage salmon is essentially an Atlantic salmon that has been genetically modified to include a growth hormone from a Chinook salmon and a gene from the ocean pout, which enables the GMO fish to keep the growth hormone active year round. Initial concerns with the fish were the consequences if the fish were to escape in the wild, but the firm states that the fish are grown on fish farms far from any ocean, and the fish raised for the dinner plate are sterile, female fish.

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