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Is ‘FrankenFish’ Safe Enough To Satisfy The US Salmon Habit?

One company's answer to crowded salmon farms and overfishing problems is to supplement the U.S. salmon supply by engineering a species of salmon.

lox and bagel

Photo: gtrwndr87 (flickr)

The International Salmon Farmers Association is among those concerned about genetically-modified salmon entering the marketplace.

The Food and Drug Administration is holding public talks from September 19-21, 2010 to discuss the first genetically-engineered animal meant for human consumption.

According to the FDA’s website, Americans consume 180,000 metric tons of Atlantic salmon a year — that’s about 400,000,000 pounds!

One company’s answer to crowded salmon farms and overfishing problems is to supplement U.S. demand by engineering a species of salmon.

The AquAdvantage Salmon was created by AquaBounty Technologies Inc., a biotech company out of Massachusetts. The genetically modified (GM) salmon reach adult-size twice as fast as natural salmon and are sterile, a trait engineered specifically to prevent interbreeding with other species.

The public consultation will last 60 days. Among the topics to be discussed is whether the salmon should be labeled as GM.

If the FDA designate the new variety of salmon safe for consumption, AquAdvantage Salmon could find its way to grocers’ seafood counters within 18 months.

What do you think? is genetically-modified salmon an appropriate way to meet the growing demands of U.S. seafood consumption?

Read More:

  • Public Meetings on Genetically Engineered Atlantic Salmon (FDA)
  • GM salmon may go on sale in US after public consultation (The Guardian)
Megan Meyer

Megan Meyer was in the company of foodies for most of her formative years. She spent all of her teens working at her town's natural food co-op in South Dakota, and later when she moved to Minneapolis, worked as a produce maven for the nation's longest running collectively-managed food co-op. In 2006, she had the distinct pleasure (and pain) of participating the vendanges, or grape harvest, in the Beaujolais terroire of France, where she developed her compulsion to snip off grape clusters wherever they may hang. In the spring of 2008, Megan interned on NPR's Science Desk in Washington, D.C., where she aided in the coverage of science, health and food policy stories. She joined Indiana Public Media in June, 2009.

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