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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

FDA Approves GMO Salmon

The FDA approved its first genetically modified animal for consumption.

The United States Food and Drug Administration approved the consumption of genetically modified salmon on Thursday.  The AquAdvantage Salmon is the first genetically enhanced animal to be deemed acceptable for sale in the United States.

AquaBounty Technologies, a bio engineering company in Massachusetts, added a gene to Atlantic salmon that allows it to grow faster than wild or traditional farm-raised Salmon.

The FDA found that the GMO salmon met the requirements for approval.  The AquAdvantage Salmon needed to be safe to eat for humans and animals first and foremost.  Also, the salmon’s modified DNA needed to be safe for the fish, and there must be confirmation of its fast growth.

The FDA also found that the salmon would not impact the environment of the United States.  Interestingly enough, it is difficult for them to impact the environment in the United States if the salmon are being hatched outside the country.

The salmon are only allowed to be housed in two tanks located in Canada and Panama.  In order to make sure the fish do not make their way out, the facilities have multiple barriers.  The FDA also found that the fish are sterile, making it impossible for them to breed.

The Panamian and Canadian governments will work with the FDA to supervise the facilities and perform regular inspections.

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