Genetically modified super salmon tries to swim through a hole in the regulatory net

| | January 17, 2013
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

If you want to bury an unsavory news story, the afternoon before Christmas vacation is a good time to break it. The FDA chose Dec. 21 to release its long awaited Environmental Assessment (EA) of the genetically modified “AquAdvantage” salmon. This move quietly slid the fish closer to making history as the first GM animal approved for human consumption. The public was given 60 days to comment on a farmed salmon that salmon farmers won’t be allowed to raise in the U.S., but Americans would be allowed to eat. 


The Christmas EA predicts “an extremely low likelihood” that AquAdvantage salmon will affect “the environment of the United States.” This conclusion spares the FDA and AquaBounty from conducting an Environmental Impact Statement, which would include a comprehensive failure analysis investigating the possible outcomes of worst-case scenarios. 


An EIS would be a sensible, if less convenient alternative to approving an EA that depends on exporting fish farming to other people’s backyards, and sending U.S. agents to the ends of the earth to inspect the facilities of fish farms that want to raise AquAdvantage salmon and sell it to the U.S.


View the full article here: Genetically modified super salmon tries to swim through a hole in the regulatory net

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