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'Frankenfish' Salmon Moves Closer to FDA Approval—Would You Eat It?

The federal agency says the fish are safe for people and the environment, but critics remain skeptical.

Genetically modified salmon could soon be making its way to your dinner plate, if the Food and Drug Administration grants final approval to a proposal from a Massachusetts bio tech firm.

The fish, dubbed "Frankenfish" by its critics, is Atlantic salmon that has been modified with a growth hormone from Pacific chinook salmon and a gene from an eel-like fish known as ocean pout. The modifications result in a fish that matures twice as fast as regular Atlantic salmon.

The FDA has already determined the fish, created by AquaBounty Technologies, poses no health or environmental risk, according to various media reports. The proposal is now under a 60-day period of public review—the final hurdle to FDA approval.

The genetically modified fish tastes like regular salmon, meaning consumers probably will not be able to tell the difference—and ABC News reports the FDA is unlikely to require special labeling for the fish.

Meanwhile, Washington is one of several states with pending initiatives on required labeling for GMOs—genetically modified organisms. Initiative 522 would require any food sold in Washington state and made with genetically engineered crops to be labeled.

Would you be comfortable eating genetically modified salmon? Tell us in the comments section.

Sunil Sethi January 14, 2013 at 04:34 PM
I called the president's comment line, to tell him to just say no!
K January 15, 2013 at 12:11 AM
Farmed fish is wholly different than a newly engineered species designed for human consumption with potential toxicity, allergenicity, and diseases posed by the commercialization of this transgenic fish. Another consideration is that GE fish also pose risks to our marine environment and wild populations of salmon, and those who depend upon them for their livelihoods. It's well known that every year millions of farmed salmon escape, outcompeting wild populations for resources and straining ecosystems. GE salmon would pose a threat to the survival of these native salmon. Escaped GE salmon can also pose an additional threat – genetic pollution resulting from what scientists call the “Trojan gene” effect.” Research from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences notes that a release of just sixty GE salmon into a wild population of 60,000 would lead to the extinction of the wild population in less than 40 fish generations. This could be the last blow to wild salmon stocks. Much more research needs to be done. Contact the FDA directly regarding Docket No. FDA-2011-N-0899
K January 15, 2013 at 12:16 AM
Genetically Engineered Salmon FDA Docket No. FDA-2011-N-0899 Here's a link to the FDA comment site (Regulations.gov) to lobby your input: http://www.regulations.gov/#!searchResults;rpp=25;po=0;s=genetically%252Bengineered%252Bsalmon;fp=true;ns=true
Sarah Nash January 15, 2013 at 04:56 AM
agree!
Smart guy January 15, 2013 at 04:12 PM
Remember the people of CA voted against the right to now prop in Nov.

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