Biotech company AquaBounty has spent the last decade seeking FDA approval for what would become the first genetically engineered animal to be used for public consumption Atlantic salmon. Genetically modified to produce growth hormone year round, the modified salmon grow to conventional market size twice as fast as regular fish.
The AquaBounty salmon would be grown in fish farms a practice that environmental activists notoriously oppose. Most of the salmon we eat these days are farm-raised. Opponents object because they think the feed given is filled with contaminants, which is an unsubstantiated accusation, says ACSH s Dr. Gilbert Ross.
Prior to granting approval for the genetically modified fish to hit supermarkets, the FDA must assess whether the salmon is safe to eat, nutritionally equivalent to other salmon and safe for the environment.
Some experts argue that the fast-growing salmon might pose an environmental risk by out-competing wild fish for food or mates, but AquaBounty Chief Executive Ronald L. Stotish counters that the company would only market sterilized female fish.