The FDA announced Thursday it had approved AquaBounty Technologies’ application for genetically engineered salmon, the agency’s first approval of a genetically engineered animal intended for food.
AquaBounty’s AquAdvantage GE Atlantic salmon grows twice as fast as non-GE salmon.
“The FDA has thoroughly analyzed and evaluated the data and information submitted by AquaBounty Technologies regarding AquAdvantage Salmon and determined that they have met the regulatory requirements for approval, including that food from the fish is safe to eat,” Bernadette Dunham, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, said in a press release.
FDA’s approval stipulates that AquAdvantage salmon may only be raised in land-based, contained hatchery tanks in Panama and Canada, with no approved facilities in the U.S. The U.S. agency and officials in Panama and Canada will inspect the facilities to make sure they meet containment requirements.
Several retailers, including Whole Foods Market, Aldi and Trader Joe’s, had previously pledged not to sell GE salmon should it gain approval for sale by the FDA.
The FDA also released a draft guidance for the voluntary labeling of GE salmon, as well as a final guidance for the voluntary labeling of foods that contain GMO plants. The draft guidance will be open for comment beginning Nov. 23.
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