FDA approves fast-growing genetically modified salmon as ‘safe to be farmed and eaten’

Genetically modified salmon which grow at twice the speed of their natural counterparts are safe to be farmed and eaten, US regulators have ruled.

GM salmon – AFP

Murray Wardrop

The decision by scientists from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) paves the way for the first GM animal to be sold as food.

The fish, called AquAdvantage salmon, could be on American plates within two to three years, raising fears among environmental and food-safety campaigners.

However, shares in Aqua Bounty Technologies Inc, the company which created the fish, leapt by 26 per cent on the London Stock Exchange on Friday, indicating that analysts see GM as the future of fish production.

The FDA is to hold a public meeting later this month on the DNA-altered fish, which could also open the door to producing genetically engineered trout and tilapia.

In a report prior to the talks, FDA experts said the altered salmon were “as safe to eat as food from other Atlantic salmon” and that they saw “no biologically relevant differences” in vitamins, minerals or fatty acids.

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