FDA Says Fast-Growing GMO Super Salmon Are No Threat
Preliminary assessment says fish pose no risk to nature
It might feel like we’re all in in the opening stages of a Resident Evil sequel, but a preliminary assessment from the FDA has declared a new species of genetically engineered fast-growing super salmon to be no threat to the environment, which means it’s another step closer to winding up on our plates.
The Huffington Post reports that the FDA released its environmental assessment on Friday, indicating that the fish “will not have any significant impacts on the quality of the human environment of the United States.” The agency will take comments from the public for 60 days before making a final assessment.
If the salmon is cleared for consumption, it would be the first GMO animal approved for food use anywhere in the world.
According to Nature, the AquAdvantage salmon from Maynard, Conn.-based AquaBounty has been genetically modified to grow twice as fast as normal salmon. The fish have an extra growth hormone from Pacific Chinook salmon, and the hormone is activated with a gene taken from an ocean pout so it functions all year. Normal salmon only grow for part of the year.
Normal salmon take three years to get to market weight, but AquAdvantage salmon get there in just 18 months.
AquaBounty says the fish look and taste just like conventional salmon. The company also says the fish are bred to be female and mostly sterile, and that they are unlikely to be able to escape into wild salmon populations and start breeding. But on the off chance that giant super fish come to take over the world, be prepared to fight back with some of our best salmon recipes.