Director for the Centre for Food Safety, Andrew Kimbrell, has called the FDA's decision 'misguided and dangerous'. (Photo: YouTube/ AquaBounty)
FDA rules GE salmon safe
Wednesday, September 08, 2010, 03:20 (GMT + 9)
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it has evaluated AquaBounty Technologies Inc's genetically engineered (GE) salmon and that it is safe environmentally and for human consumption. Although not yet approved, a decision on the salmon is anticipated to come soon.
FDA has analysed company data such as inspection and site visit records and deduced that adequate containment measures seem to be in place, both at the Prince Edward Island (PEI) and Panama plants, to minimise the probability of transgenic salmon escapes into the wild at all life stages.
But critics have expressed concern that the GE fish would threaten wild stocks.
"FDA's decision to go ahead with this approval process is misguided and dangerous, and is made worse by its complete lack of data to review," said Executive Director for the Centre for Food Safety Andrew Kimbrell.
Both the PEI and Panama facilities have instituted multiple physical and mechanical barriers in the water systems to prevent the transfer of eggs and/or fish to surrounding marine environments. The systems are in line with recommendations in the Agricultural Biotechnology Research Advisory Committee (ABRAC) Performance Standards.
Moreover, the geographic and geophysical marine conditions near both sites would further limit the potential survival and spread of AquAdvantage Salmon, particularly eggs and early life stages of these salmon in PEI and for all life stages in Panama.
Due to redundancy in reproductive containment, also, any Panama escapees able to survive would not be able to spawn and permanently establish themselves in the local ecosystem.
FDA said that the potential occurrence of any noteworthy effects on foreign nations not participating in this action is thus very remote. No effects on wild Atlantic salmon stocks are foreseen.
The FDA considers the data provided by AquaBounty for the administration to study the environmental safety of AquAdvantage Salmon acceptable and complete, except for minor issues that will be addressed in the final public display version of the environmental assessment.
A final decision regarding whether to draft a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) or an environmental impact statement (EIS) will be made after comments on the environmental assessment have been received from the public and relevant outside experts and considered.
In terms of human consumption, FDA said that the salmon is “as safe to eat as food from other Atlantic salmon.”
“There is a reasonable certainty of no harm from consumption of food from triploid [AquaBounty] salmon,” the report reads.
- FDA to complete review of transgenic salmon
By Natalia Real