Culture 2 min read

FDA Approves Importation of Genetically Modified Salmon Eggs

Although some groups have raised concerns, genetically modified salmon could help streamline the production process of this fish. ¦ sirtravelalot / Shutterstock

Although some groups have raised concerns, genetically modified salmon could help streamline the production process of this fish. ¦ sirtravelalot / Shutterstock

According to reports, the FDA just lifted the restriction on the importation of genetically modified salmon eggs. In a statement released over the weekend, the FDA said that the salmon eggs met the criteria set by the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard.

Part of the FDA’s statement read:

“Today, we are taking another important step by deactivating a 2016 import alert that prevented GE salmon from entering the U.S. The FDA’s approval of the application related to AquaAdvantage Salmon followed a comprehensive analysis of the scientific evidence, which determined that the GE Atlantic salmon met the statutory requirements for safety and effectiveness under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.”

According to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, the genetic changes made on AquaAdvantage Salmon are safe and would have no significant impact on the environment or the people who will consume it.

“As was determined during the FDA’s 2015 review, this fish is safe to eat, the genetic construct added to the fish’s genome is safe for the animal, and the manufacturer’s claim that it reaches a growth marker important to the aquaculture industry more rapidly than its non-GE farm-raised Atlantic salmon counterpart is confirmed.”

Genetically Modified Salmon

AquaBounty, based in Indiana, already received initial FDA approval to import genetically modified salmon eggs in 2016. However, the company was prevented from doing so until Congress released guidelines on the matter.

Now passed, the salmon eggs come from a company facility in Prince Edward Island, Canada. According to reports, the FDA approval already added roughly $50 million USD to AquaBounty’s net worth.

The salmon eggs imported from Canada are designed to grow as sterile females. However, as of now, only a limited number of the genetically modified salmons are available in Canadian markets.

The announcement received public criticism and consumers, as well as fishing groups, have filed a court appeal requesting FDA to overturn its decision.

Noah Oppenheim, Executive Director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, said in an interview:

“A loophole has now been created that will allow the first genetically modified animal engineered for human consumption to enter the US market: GMO Atlantic salmon. Fishermen have been fighting against the possibility of these Frankenfish entering our waters and our markets for years, and we won’t stop now.”

Read More: Low-Fat Pigs Created Using CRISPR Technology

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Chelle Fuertes

Chelle is the Product Management Lead at INK. She's an experienced SEO professional as well as UX researcher and designer. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with her family and friends.

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