The CBC reports that, “If (genetically modified) salmon, raised by Aqua Bounty Technologies (on Prince Edward Island), is approved (by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) for consumers, it would be the first genetically modified food animal on the market.”
“The fish has been genetically modified to grow twice as fast as other Atlantic salmon. FDA documents just released say the fish is as safe to eat as other Atlantic salmon, with similar vitamins, minerals and fatty acids.”
“That news drew a reaction from an international coalition of groups opposed to genetically modified food. ‘The United States could be approving a genetically engineered fish with really inadequate data, and … this opens the door to other genetically engineered animals,’ said Lucy Sharratt, head of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, a coalition partner.”
“The coalition opposed to selling the salmon in the U.S. hopes to stall the FDA approval process at public meetings set to start in 10 days.” The Council of Canadians will be sending its vice-chairperson, Charlottetown’s Leo Broderick, to the hearings which take place in Washington, DC, from September 19-21.
The CBC report notes that, “The biggest environmental concern is that the genetically modified fish will escape and breed with wild salmon. FDA documents say escaped fish are highly unlikely to pose a significant threat to the environment, because up to 99 per cent of genetically raised salmon are sterile. …The FDA documents say Aqua Bounty has reduced the risk of escape by raising the fish in well-contained tanks on land at its two facilities — in Fortune, P.E.I., and in Panama — with several barriers of netting and screens. (But Atlantic Salmon Federation regional director Todd) Dupuis (has) said there have been escapes from land-based fish farms on P.E.I. before.”
The full report is at http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2010/09/10/pei-gmo-salmon-aquabounty-584.html.
For more on this issue, please go to this CBAN media release at http://www.cban.ca/Press/Press-Releases/Coalition-Demands-FDA-Deny-Approval-of-Controversial-GE-Fish.