FDA hears concerns over approving genetically modified salmon
"Science cannot prove that this new gene-spliced salmon is safe for human consumption over a long period of time," said Darrell Rogers of the Alliance for Natural Health. "This recklessly and needlessly endangers human health."
He made the comments at a meeting of a panel of experts convened by the Food and Drug Administration, which is poised to make a landmark decision that could mark a turning point in the way American food is produced.
AquaBounty, the company seeking permission to market the fish in the United States, wants to incubate genetically modified eggs in Prince Edward Island, Canada, then ship them in plastic coolers to Panama. There they would be raised in land-based tanks and eventually processed before being transported to the United States for sale.
In developing its fish, AquaBounty took an Atlantic salmon and inserted a growth hormone gene from a Chinook salmon as well as an "antifreeze" gene from the ocean pout, a large, eel-like species. The result is a genetically modified fish that can grow to market size in 18 months instead of three years, according to AquaBounty. That means farmers can speed production and increase yields, the company said.
The advisory panel did not vote on the matter, but individual members offered a range of comments - sometimes conflicting - after two days of testimony from AquaBounty, the FDA and the public.
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