The USDA announced an additional 60 days for public comment on a proposal that originated in the final weeks of the Trump administration to put USDA, rather than FDA, in charge of regulating livestock and poultry created through genetic engineering.
A federal judge in San Francisco ordered the FDA on Thursday to take a new and stronger look at the potential consequences on native salmon if AquaBounty's fast-growing GMO salmon escaped from fish farms and established itself in the wild.
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."
Congress is on the verge of retroactive restoration of the $1-a-gallon biodiesel tax credit, a result of the last-minute inclusion of a package of tax breaks in a mammoth government funding bill. The House passed the bill on Tuesday, and the Senate is expected to approve it by the end of the week.
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."
One of the best-known scientists in the GMO world, Alison Van Eenennaam, “aims to create a bull that will father only male offspring” through a bit of gene editing with CRISPR, said MIT Technology Review.
Two Purdue researchers say Americans are far more skeptical of genetically engineered crops and livestock than a GMO solution to a health risk, such as the mosquito-spread Zika virus. A survey of 964 people found that 78 percent would support release of GMO mosquitoes to stop Zika while 44 percent would accept GMO livestock, 49 percent would accept GMO crops and 48 percent would accept GMO produce.
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.