Genetically engineered salmon could soon be in grocery store nationwide. The FDA lifted a ban on importing the “Frankenfish” and authorized the biotech fish to be sold in the United States.
Critics call the move a major victory for the biotech industry and worry about the environmental threats to wild salmon populations and consumers, Common Dreams reported.
“With this move, FDA has put American consumers at serious risk by putting unlabeled, unnatural fish on the market,” Friends of the Earth said.
Genetically engineered salmon was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) more than three years ago. But a ban was placed on the fish “after a spending bill provision backed by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) blocked the fish from entering commerce in the U.S. until FDA finalized labeling guidelines that would inform consumers the product was genetically modified,” Politico reported.
The Trump administration’s recent lift of the ban also ends the need to finalize labeling guidelines. The FDA said “it no longer needs to finalize those labeling guidelines because a 2016 law requiring the disclosure of genetically engineered ingredients nationwide applies to the salmon, essentially taking the product outside of FDA’s purview,” Politico reported.
AquAdvantage Salmon eggs could soon be imported into the U.S., while AquaBounty, a Massachusetts biotech company that developed the GE salmon, will now be able to grow the salmon year-round. The GE salmon is developed by taking a growth hormone gene from Pacific Chinook salmon and combining it with a gene from a species known as ocean pout and added to Atlantic salmon.
In 2015, the FDA approved the GE salmon safe for human consumption after a 20 year review. It still remains the only genetically engineered animal approved to eat.
The GE salmon could be in grocery stores as soon as 2020.