First GMO Fish Gets FDA Approval

There are several discussions about the ethical and legal issues presented by Genetically Modified Foods that gets approved by the Food and Drug Administration would most likely be a long shot. However, after 19 years of deliberation, the United States' FDA has approved the world's first genetically engineered food animal, which is a fast-growing Atlantic Salmon called AquAdvantage salmon.

On Thursday, the FDA has announced through its official website that it has approved AquaBonty Technologies' application for their AquaAdvantage Salmon--an Atlantic salmon that is capable of reaching market size quicker than non-genetically enhanced farm-raised Atlantic salmon. According to the report, the recombinant DNA (rDNA) construction introduces a trait that is capable of making the company's salmon grow faster.

"The FDA has thoroughly analyzed and evaluated the data and information submitted by AquaBounty Technologies regarding AquAdvantage Salmon and determined that they have met the regulatory requirements for approval, including that food from the fish is safe to eat," said FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine Director Bernadette Dunham, D.V.M., Ph.D.

In the lengthy approval process of the FDA, the agency had assessed the nutritional profiles as well as the hormone levels to compare modified fishes to fishes raised in farms. The results show that there are no significant differences between the two.

Furthermore, the agency also assessed what potential environmental effects it can do and the proposed containment method should there be any. According to reports, the fishes should properly be kept in tanks located in Canada and in Panama. The inland tank in Panama will raise the fishes to market size, while the one in Canada will be keeping the breeding stock.

However, even with the FDA's careful deliberation and approval, as well as the safety measures presented, The Center for Food Safety had already expressed its concern over the agency's decision to approve the AguaAdvantage Salmon. Reports said that the Center For Food Safety will file a lawsuit to challenge the dangerous and unlawful decision of the FDA.

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