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…
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