Regulatory delays and ‘Jurassic Park’ may have ruined prospects for AquaBounty GE salmon

The Maynard-based biotech company AquaBounty has been working to get a genetically altered salmon that grows faster than conventional, Atlantic salmon approved for sale in the U.S. for more than two decades. But while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has inspected the company’s farming sites in Panama and Prince Edward Island, convened committees to review how safe the fish is to eat, and consulted with environmental agencies, it has not said if or when it will ever approve the fish for sale.

The endless delays have given activist groups in just the last few months the chance to publicize a growing list of grocery store chains — including Kroger, Safeway, Meijer and Trader Joe’s — which they say have vowed not to sell the fish if it ever does get approved, cutting off the presumed eventual source of revenue for the beleaguered company.

Activists are raising the objection that if fast-growing, genetically-altered salmon escape into the wild, they could breed with and potentially take over the salmon population as an invasive species.

That line of argument has relied heavily on – implicitly or explicitly – the “lessons” learned from the fictional 1993 Steven Spielberg movie, “Jurassic Park.” That movie about a genetic experiment gone wrong — which coincidentally came out two years before AquaBounty first applied for approval to the FDA ­— has been at the center of the environmental arguments that have blocked AquaBounty’s plans for two decades.

In the end, it doesn’t matter that the FDA has already visited and approved the breeding sites, and seems to have given all but the final OK to the company’s business plan. The premise of the movie (and the book by Michael Crichton on which it is based) has become so ingrained that for many people, the idea of any for-profit company planning to create genetically engineered animals is too fraught with peril to even consider.

Read the full, original article: How Steven Spielberg may have ruined AquaBounty’s plan to sell GE salmon

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend