Regulators clear path for genetically modified salmon

Some stores have pledged not to carry GMO salmon but it might be smart to read the packaging anyway

Some stores have pledged not to carry GMO salmon but it might be smart to read the packaging anyway

With the ban lifted, salmon eggs from AquAdvantage, a company that genetically modifies Atlantic salmon, can be imported into the company's contained growth facility in IN to be raised into salmon for food.

According to reports, the salmon would take time to reach the markets as it would take approximately 18 months for them to grow to their target weights. "Fishermen have been fighting against the possibility of these frankenfish entering our waters and our markets for years, and we won't stop now".

George Kimbrell, legal director for the Center for Food Safety, one of the groups suing the FDA, said the company's tests shows it's not 100 percent certain the fish would be sterile, and concerns about it getting in the environment would grow if the AquaBounty's operations were to expand.

AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. said the lifting of the import alert would allow the Company to start farming AquAdvantage Salmon in Indiana.

The FDA said it deactivated on Friday an import alert that blocked import of the salmon. The FDA also studied the environmental impact of the genetically engineered fish and found that it "would not cause a significant impact on the USA environment". A biotech trade group said the fish, which developers say grows twice as fast as as conventional Atlantic salmon on 25% less feed, will "contribute to a more sustainable food supply". Consumers should tell their grocers not to carry this product. "American consumers deserve to know what they purchasing and ultimately eating", said Murkowski.

The Golden Gate Salmon Association (www.goldengatesalmonassociation.org) is a coalition of salmon advocates that includes commercial and recreational salmon fisherman, businesses, restaurants, a native tribe, environmentalists, elected officials, families and communities that rely on salmon.

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However, in 2016, Congress directed FDA not to allow food that contains GE salmon into commerce until final GE labeling guidelines were in place. In response, the FDA implemented restrictions on the salmon's import to the US.

The administration finally lifted the import alert after the Congress brought into effect its latest National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, which the agency believes meets the labeling requirements.

On Friday, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said because of the 2016 law and the USDA's standard, his agency "no longer has the authority to issue labeling guidance".

The company's genetically modified fish - Atlantic salmon with a growth hormone gene from the Pacific Chinook variety and a gene from the ocean pout species - will quickly grow to a size that can be used for sale in a land-based freshwater tank system near Albany, Indiana, according to Feedstuffs.

For more information, read my November 2015 article in the East Bay Express: www.eastbayexpress.com/...

"Additionally, as part of its approval, the FDA also analyzed the potential environmental impact that an approval of the AquAdvantage Salmon application would have on the USA environment and published its final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact in November 2015".

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