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Jul 11, 2010

AquaBounty Looks to FDA Approval for its Advanced Hybrid Salmon While Opponents Express Concerns Over This Possible First GE Fish

On 11 July 2010 McClatchy Newspapers reported that AquaBounty expected its gene-modified (GM) fish to be approved by the FDA in the near future. The fish is a "quick growing" Atlantic salmon that has been gene-modified with genetic material from Pacific Chinook salmon. If approved, it would be the first approved GM fish.

If approved, the AquaBounty GM fish would provide big returns for its investors. "Aquaculture is already an $86 billion-a-year business, with nearly half of all fish consumed globally farm raised. As wild stocks dwindle and the world's population heads toward 9 billion, fish farmers will be looking for fish that will be market-ready quicker."

There are concerns that trial fish and other Atlantic salmon being raised in conventional fish farms along the net pens in coastal waters along Washington state, Maine and British Columbia, may escape and bred with Pacific salmon.

AquaBounty maintains that the fish is an "advanced hybrid" rather than a GM fish. It says that gene-modification has been between related fish species. ("A growth hormone gene has been added from the Chinook salmon, as well as an on-switch gene from the ocean pout, a distant relative of the salmon. ... Salmon normally feed only during the spring and summer, but when the on-switch from the pout's gene is triggered, they eat year round.) The company adds that to address cross-breeding issues, it would raise future fish in inland farms and the females would be sterile to reduce the possibility of cross-breeding. AquaBounty would "market the eggs from a transgenic salmon, not the actual fish."

ead more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/07/11/97277/fda-nears-approval-of-genetically.html#storylink=cpy

For more see: Blumenthal, Les. "FDA nears approval of genetically engineered salmon," McClatchy Newspapers, 11 July 2010.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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