Environment – Frankenfish? Nov 2015

US FDA clears genetically modified salmon for human consumption

– Reuters – Nov 19 2015

Slabs of Salmon are displayed at a market. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Slabs of Salmon are displayed at a market. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

“U.S. health regulators on Thursday cleared the way for a type of genetically engineered Atlantic salmon to be farmed for human consumption – the first such approval for an animal whose DNA has been scientifically modified.

Five years ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration first declared the product, made by Massachusetts-based AquaBounty Technologies, to be as safe as conventional farm-raised Atlantic salmon.

AquaBounty’s product will not require special labeling because it is nutritionally equivalent to conventional farm-raised Atlantic salmon, the FDA said on Thursday.

AquaBounty says its salmon can grow to market size in half the time of conventional salmon, saving time and resources. The fish is essentially Atlantic salmon with a Pacific salmon gene for faster growth and a gene from the eel-like ocean pout that promotes year-round growth.

Activist groups have expressed concerns that genetically modified foods may pose risks to the environment or public health. Several on Thursday said they would oppose the sale of engineered salmon to the public, while some retailers said they would not carry the fish on store shelves.

Kroger Co, the nation’s largest traditional grocery chain, has “no intention of sourcing or selling genetically engineered salmon,” spokesman Keith Dailey said. Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market Inc also confirmed that they do not intend to carry the product.

The agency on Thursday also issued draft guidelines on how food manufacturers could identify whether the salmon in their products are genetically modified. The guidelines state that such labeling would be voluntary.

Stotish said in an interview that AquaBounty will follow the FDA’s rule for labeling and currently “there would be no requirement for labeling.

Activist group Friends of the Earth estimates that at least 35 other species of genetically engineered fish, along with chickens, pigs and cows, are under development. The FDA’s decision on salmon may set a precedent that could make approval for other genetically modified animal species easier.”

– by Lucy Nicholson @ Reuters

More here: GMO Salmon Approved

– Let me see if I get this: 1) there is no market for this product, 2) they develop it anyway, 3) there are major potential downstream risks, 4) they don’t have to LABEL it.

Great. Like the EPA, the FDA is supposed to protect us, no endanger us. Approve it will little testing, fine. Shame on you. Don’t label it, don’t inform me?

Shame on all of us for letting it happen.

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