US approves genetically modified salmon

Global Business

In November 2015, the U.S. government approved the first genetically engineered animal, a hybrid salmon. That version of the fish could end up on dinner tables across the United States, but the fish faces an upstream battle. Fierce opposition from consumer and environmental groups abounds.

CCTV America’s Karina Huber reports from New York.

US approves genetically modified salmon

US approves genetically modified salmon

In November 2015, the U.S. government approved the first genetically engineered animal, a hybrid salmon. That version of the fish could end up on dinner tables across the United States, but the fish faces an upstream battle. Fierce opposition from consumer and environmental groups abounds.

They’re called AquaAdvantage salmon, a genetically engineered fish that is a combination of Atlantic and Pacific salmon and an eel-like fish called ocean pout. A company called AquaBounty Technologies engineered it and says it can grow twice as fast as farm-raised salmon.

After years of debate, the U.S. government seems to agree. Its Food Drug Administration has declared the fish safe to eat and ready to market.

Critics worry the engineered salmon could cause an allergic reaction in humans and possibly taint the natural salmon population if they were introduced into the wild.

Environmentalists call the modified species “Frankenfish” and want retailers to boycott it.

Several major US supermarket chains including Whole Foods, Costco and Trader Joe’s have announced they won’t sell the fish. But others like Walmart and Publix have not agreed to the boycott.

AquaBounty says it will take a few years before the salmon is big enough to market, but with all of the opposition, some wonder if it will ever hit the shelves.


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