Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Suspicions Loom Over Safety Of Genetically Engineered Salmon

After a decade of research and genetic modification by AquaBounty, the GE fish mature to adulthood more swiftly than non-GE relatives.

Salmon

Photo: Gifford; Prentiss, Arthur M. (Flickr)

In spite of concerns, the FDA appears ready to approve genetically engineered AquAdvantage Salmon as safe for human consumption.

AquaBounty Technologies has recently announced the readiness of their genetically engineered (GE) salmon for the mass market, and the FDA seems poised to agree.

After a decade of research and genetic modification by AquaBounty, the GE fish known as AquaAdvantage salmon matures to adulthood more swiftly than its non-GE relatives. So far, the FDA says that it does not find potential negative health problems with eating the fish.

However, many organizations have raised concerns about the amount of genetic experience on the FDA’s panels, the lack of independent analysis, the unusually short public response period, the small sample size of tested animals and the potential allergenic quality of the fish.

“Why is the FDA accepting such sloppy science, flouting its own regulations, giving the public nearly no time to weigh in, and packing its committee full of biotech hacks who will not ask the tough questions necessary to ensure the AquAdvantage salmon is safe before it winds up . . . on our plates?” asks Jill Richardson.

Even if the FDA files a “Finding of No Significant Impact or an Environmental Impact Statement” about AquaAdvantage salmon within thirty days, AquaBounty says the first consumer crop will not be available for two years.

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Julie Rooney

Julie Rooney is a vegetarian, musician, and artist who primarily works in video and new media. Currently she is the director of Low Road Gallery, a non-profit contemporary art gallery located in Greencastle, Indiana.

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