US FDA approves GM salmon3 - 19.11.2015

‘ABRUPT’ approval: FDA says AquAdvantage genetically-engineered salmon “as safe to eat as non-GE salmon”; Labelling will [only] be voluntary; Will there now be an anti-farmed salmon backlash in the USA?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Thursday (November 19, 2015) that its scientists “rigorously evaluated extensive data submitted by the genetically-modified/engineered (GM/GE) / transgenic salmon manufacturer, AquaBounty Technologies, and other peer-reviewed data, to assess whether its AquAdvantage salmon (‘AAS’) met the criteria for approval established by law; namely, safety and effectiveness.

This decision – awaited by the biotech firm for the past two decades… – effectively makes the GM/GE salmon the first animal (in the world) destined for human consumption to be approved. Opponents fear the FDA has thus created a precedent likely to  ‘open the Pandora box’ of other GM animals (many are waiting to be filed for approval) destined for human consumption…

It is feared by most in the global farmed salmon industry that the issue, debate and forthcoming news coverage will be used in some quarters (notably by those strenuously opposing farmed salmon and some‘wild-catch only salmon’ marketeers) to amalgamate ‘GM farmed salmon’ with ‘farmed salmon’ and exacerbate the ‘anti-‘ farmed salmon feelings and the oft misleading arguments which accompany them.

[Note: The International Salmon Farmers Association (ISFA) ratified in 2002 at its 17th General Meeting that: “In accordance with sound environmental practice, the ISFA firmly rejects transgenic salmon production.”] Some salmon farmers (eg. Cooke Aquaculture, the #1 salmon farmer on the East Coast of North America) have already issued statement to re-state that their farmed salmon is non-GM. More of this communication will become a necessity in days to come to avoid confusion.

The FDA decision came coincidentally [?] as the Ecology Action Centre and Living Oceans Society is this week – since Tuesday November 17 – in the Federal Court in Ottawa, Canada, to argue that the approval of this GM salmon should be overturned.

PS, November 20 @ 9.31] London Stock Exchange: On opening on the day following approval, the AquaBounty shares leapt 84% in the first minutes of trading…

AquaBounty shares leap (Nov 20. 2015) as FDA approval granted

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“SALMON Farming must be sustainable” & responds well to the UN’s SDGs: Cermaq CEO at #GOAL2015

Below is a sample of the type of news item which features daily on; one of 40,000+ articles available to our subscribers. We are focusing specifically on topics of relevance to seafood (aquaculture, [+/- enhanced] fisheries) sustainability & #SeafoodEthics / CSR issues:


Salmon farming responds well to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, said Cermaq’s CEO Jon Hindar in his keynote speech at the GAA #GOAL2015 conference in Vancouver on Tuesday October 27, 2015.

However, he noted that the industry should not be complacent as it faces serious challenges. He highlighted to need for proactive engagement with stakeholders and noted the endeavours of half of the world’s (by output) industry within the 2013-launched CEO-headed Global Salmon Initiative (GSI).

Salmon Farming must be sustainable - Jon Hindar - SDG - GOAL - Oct 27 2015

Cermaq engages stakeholders - slide GOAL2015

His full presentation can be found here:

Cermaq is one of the world’s leading companies in farming of salmon and trout, with operations in Norway, Chile and Canada. Cermaq is a fully owned (since November 2014) subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation with head office in Oslo, Norway.

The Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) website and its Sustainability Report can be found here:

GSI homepage on Oct 27 2015

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