FDA Approves the First Genetically Modified Animal for Human Consumption
by Tony Isaacs
(UtopiaSilver.com) In a benchmark decision that may go down as one of the worst in a long history of bad decisions, the FDA has just approved the first genetically modified (GMO) animals for human consumption: genetically engineered salmon - in spite of the objections of food scientists and consumer food safety groups.
The AquAdvantage salmon developed by AquaBounty Technologies contains a growth hormone gene from the Chinook salmon and a genetic switch from an eel-like creature called the ocean pout that keeps the transplanted gene continuously active (whereas the salmon’s own growth hormone gene is active only parts of the year). The company touts the new fish as being able to grow to market weight in 18 to 20 months, compared with 28 to 36 months for conventionally farmed salmon.
The fish has become a lightning rod for issues associated with genetically modified foods and it’s lengthy approval process indicates the degree of discord between GMO proponents and opponents. Three issues loom large over the issue of the GMO salmon: safety, escape into the environment and labeling.
Read more about the health safety concerns of the new GMO salmon and the FDA's precedent setting decision HERE.