Aquaculture for all

GM Salmon Ready to Make a Splash

Salmonids Eels Breeding & genetics +5 more

GENERAL - The Food and Drug dministration is to approve Aqua Bounty's new fish tweaked with genetic material from chinook salmon and eel-like species called ocean pout.

It looks like a normal Atlantic salmon, and the fish's creators say it tastes like one, too. But according to Oliver Moore of the GlobeAndMail, this is no ordinary fish that Aqua Bounty Technologies has produced.

Tweaked with genetic material from chinook salmon and an eel-like creature called an ocean pout, it reaches market size twice as fast as normal Atlantic salmon, the company says. Aqua Bounty has spent more than a decade chasing U.S. regulatory approval, which Food and Drug Administration officials have reportedly said is coming "soon."

It would be a watershed moment, reporte TheGlobeAndMail. There are currently no genetically engineered animals approved for sale as food anywhere in the world - and opponents are predicting a wave of consumer outrage.

"We don't have that same level of negative reaction [as in Europe] at present but I suspect it will come up when food animals are approved," said Jeff Hutchings, a professor of biology at Dalhousie University and a member of the Royal Society of Canada's expert panel on biotechnology.

The Massachusetts-headquartered company, which has operations in Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, has not applied for approval in Canada. But trade law could force Ottawa's hand following U.S. approval, making it irrelevant whether the Canadian consumer wants these fish or not.

Under current Canadian law, GE foods do not need to be labelled.