Coming to Your Plate: Genetically Modified Salmon

But critics say there's a transparency issue
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2010 7:49 AM CDT
Sockeye salmon ride home in a fisherman's cooler from the Brewster Pool, the stretch of the Columbia River near Brewster, Wash. on July 22, 2010.   (AP Photo/The Spokesman-Review, Jesse Tinsley)
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(Newser) – The FDA has declared a genetically engineered salmon safe for human consumption, putting it one brief swim away from a supermarket near you. Dubbed AquAdvantage Salmon, the Massachusetts-bred fish have been enhanced with a gene from an ocean pout—an eel-like fish—that allows them to grow all year round, putting them at salable size in just 18 months. “We’ve been studying this fish for more than 10 years,” says the company’s CEO. “This is an Atlantic salmon. It looks like an Atlantic salmon. It tastes like an Atlantic salmon.”

But critics complain that the deliberations have all been behind closed doors, and that much of the company’s data has been kept under wraps, reports the Washington Post. “There’s a transparency problem,” says the head of a group that opposes the fish’s approval. Others worry about the ecological implications if an AquAdvantage salmon escaped its fish farm and mingled with endangered wild salmon. "This is very, very complex," said an expert in genetically modified organisms. (Read more salmon stories.)

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