FDA allows genetically engineered ‘Frankenfish’ salmon to be imported to US

"Today, we are taking another important step by deactivating a 2016 import alert that prevented GE salmon from entering the U.S. The FDA's approval of the application related to AquaAdvantage Salmon followed a comprehensive analysis of the scientific evidence, which determined that the GE Atlantic salmon met the statutory requirements for safety and effectiveness under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act".

The fish is Atlantic salmon modified with DNA from other fish species so that it reaches market weight in 18 to 20 months instead of the 28 to 36 months that conventionally farmed salmon require. However, Congress blocked the FDA the following year from allowing the fish to be sold in the U.S. They required it to finalize its labeling guidelines alerting customers that the fish has been altered.

The salmon, which has been dubbed by some as "Frankenfish", is the creation of Maynard, Massachusetts-based biotechnology company AquaBounty Technologies. "Therefore, the FDA is deactivating the import alert that prevented food from AquAdvantage Salmon, including salmon eggs used to grow the fish, from entering the U.S." he claimed.

"We will immediately start the process to import AquAdvantage eggs from our hatchery in Canada to begin grow out at our in facility", said Wulf.

The agency said it no longer has authority to issue labeling guidelines for GMO products such as AquAdvantage Salmon since the U.S. Department of Agriculture is now in charge of implementing mandatory standards for disclosing whether a food is bioengineered following the recent adoption of the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard.

The FDA had concluded the GE salmon was safe in 2015.

More news: Molinari surges to win Arnold Palmer Invitational
More news: Collins to sign 6-year deal with Washington
More news: Omar Thanks Fox News For Condemning Jeanine Pirro's Anti-Muslim Rant

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb stressed that the genetic changes had been deemed safe for the animal, safe to eat and wouldn't have a "significant" impact on the environment. Aquabounty chief Sylvia Wulf told the AP she expected certification for an IN growing facility IN "weeks" and could receive eggs soon afterward, but it would take about 18 months for the salmon to reach their target weight. The company is also growing genetically modified salmon at its facility on Prince Edward Island, Canada, and is setting up operations in Brazil, Argentina, Israel and China.

However, Wulf added that it has been hard to engage in sales discussions with companies since the ban, but she said limited quantities have been sold in Canada, where it doesn't have to be labeled as "genetically modified".

- USA regulators on Friday gave the green light to salmon genetically modified to grow about twice as fast as normal. But nearly immediately after approval, an alert was issued by the FDA prohibiting importing and rearing until labelling regulations caught up.

Wulf told AP she doesn't expect the pending lawsuit filed by a coalition of consumer, environmental and fishing groups to affect the company's US plans.

"We think a remedy in our case would stop sale of the fish before they're allowed to be sold", Kimbrell told AP.

In a statement to FOX Business, AquaBounty said if all goes well, it plans to have its first harvest by the Fall of 2020.

Related Articles