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Genetically modified salmon gets approval from federal regulators

By Agencies in Miami | China Daily | Updated: 2015-11-21 08:31

US regulators approved on Thursday a type of genetically modified salmon as safe to eat, making it the first transgenic animal destined for domestic dinner tables.

The US Food and Drug Administration's decision came after years of controversy over the fish, which is an Atlantic salmon injected with a gene from Pacific Chinook salmon to make it grow faster.

The fish, called AquAdvantage Salmon, is made by AquaBounty Technologies in Massachusetts, and can reach adult size in 16 to 18 months instead of 30 months for normal Atlantic salmon.

"They have met the regulatory requirements for approval, including that food from the fish is safe to eat," said Bernadette Dunham, director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine.

Regulators "determined that food from AquAdvantage Salmon is as safe to eat and as nutritious as food from other non-GE Atlantic salmon," the FDA said.

"There are no biologically relevant differences in the nutritional profile of AquAdvantage Salmon compared to that of other farm-raised Atlantic salmon."

Some consumer groups have opposed the fish, saying it could be dangerous to human health and may pose risks to other fish if it were to escape into the environment.

But the FDA said the AquAdvantage salmon "are reproductively sterile so that even in the highly unlikely event of an escape, they would be unable to interbreed or establish populations in the wild."

AFP - Reuters

(China Daily 11/21/2015 page12)

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