More than three years after the FDA approved, for the first time, a genetically engineered animal as safe to eat, the government opened the door for AquaBounty Technologies to grow and sell its GE salmon in the United States. A biotech trade group said the fish, which developers say grows twice as fast as as conventional Atlantic salmon on 25-percent less feed, will "contribute to a more sustainable food supply."
In a transaction that was 25 years in the making, U.S.-based AquaBounty Technologies announced the sale of 10,000 pounds of its GMO salmon to customers in Canada, meaning "genetically engineered salmon has reached the dinner plate," says the journal Nature. "This is the first time that a genetically engineered animal has been sold for food on the open market."
The Senate Appropriations Committee approved unanimously a USDA-FDA funding bill that rejected President Trump's proposals to slash spending on rural development, crop insurance and food stamps. And in the first major congressional disagreement with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, the $145 billion funding bill overrode his recent elimination of the slot for an undersecretary in charge of rural economic development — and directed the administration to fill the job.
The Prince Edward Island environment minister approved a proposal by AquaBounty, the developer of a genetically engineered salmon, to produce 250 tonnes a year of the fish at Rollo Bay West, on the northeastern shore of the province, reported the CBC.
The genetically engineered AquAdvantage salmon is cleared for sale as food in Canada, the first food animal approved for the commercial market, said Canadian health officials. The salmon, which also was the first GE animal approved by U.S. regulators, will not be required to carry a label in stores to say it was genetically modified, said the CBC.
Environmental and consumer groups made good on their pledge, issued last Nov. 19, to challenge in court the FDA's approval of the sale and consumption of the genetically engineered salmon developed by AquaBounty Technologies.
Complying with a congressional directive, the FDA barred imports of genetically engineered salmon, "months after approving the first such animal as safe to eat," says the website Regulatory Focus.
The warehouse retailer Costco said it "does not intend to sell GM salmon at this time," reports the Seattle Times. The FDA approved commercial sale and consumption last week of the AquAdvantage salmon developed by AquaBounty Technologies.
For the first time, the FDA has approved the sale and consumption of a genetically engineered animal, the AquAdvantage salmon developed by a Massachusetts company. Although FDA approval is a signal achievement for the biotechnology industry - the first GE crops went on the market in 1996 - it could be years before fillets or steaks from the fast-growing salmon are sold in supermarkets.