Gene editing has enormous potential to improve health and food production, but innovation must be governed by well-rooted standards of safety and effectiveness, said FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn. "The agency is a trusted global regulator and we are committed to overseeing this space in a manner that fosters innovation, protects consumer confidence and protects the public health."
An estimated 40 companies worldwide are in the race to bring to market cell-based meat — "clean meat" in the eyes of proponents and "fake meat" according to ranchers. Asked if the product qualifies as meat, Deputy Agriculture Undersecretary Mindy Brashears responded, "This is something we will be talking about. That is an important priority for us."
The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a $145 billion USDA-FDA funding bill on Thursday that would extend a ban on the sale of genetically modified salmon until the FDA requires special labels on the fish.
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.
"Transplanted heart valves routinely come from pigs as well as cows," says the Los Angeles Times, but it's not as simple to use swine organs for people who need kidneys, livers or lungs.
In an editorial, the New York Times says, "Congress should overturn" the FDA decision against special labels on the genetically engineered AquAdvantage salmon, the first GE food animal cleared for human consumption. "Consumers deserve to know what they are eating."
The FDA approval of genetically engineered salmon for human consumption raised the curtain on a "menagerie of gene-edited animals ... already being raised on farms and in laboratories around the world — some designed for food, some to fight disease, some, perhaps, as pets," reports the New York Times.
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.