After 20 years — yes, years — of deliberation, the FDA has finally approved genetically modified salmon as safe to consume, a first for GMO animals. The fish has been altered with genes from two other edible fish species in order to grow faster, according to The Washington Post.
The fish is designed to “reach market weight” twice quickly as “conventional salmon” on 25 percent less feed. These fish bred for food are all female, sterile and raised in facilities in Canada and Panama.
A concern addressed by the FDA is weather or not these mutant salmon would have any chance of escaping and possibly breeding with “native” fish. After all, we wouldn’t want to have any sort of crazy, three-eyed salmon swimming in our oceans.
Ron Stotish, CEO of AquaBounty, the company growing the creatures, says the fish will be available to the public in two years’ time and may not carry any indication that they were genetically engineered. Since the United States does not require GMO labeling, this is not a legal issue.
“When you’re the first and only, labeling is a dangerous decision,” he tells the Post. “We’d like to label it as a premium product, but we’ll probably introduce it as ‘Atlantic salmon.’”
While the salmon got the FDA seal of approval, the Post reports that grocery stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s have vowed not to sell the fish.