GMO plant oil could be healthy, sustainable alternative for feeding salmon

Genetically modified plants created by British scientists to contain health boosting Omega-3 have been declared a safe alternative to fish oil.

Scientists at Rothamsted Research in Hertfordshire copied and synthesised the genes from the microscopic marine algae that are eaten or absorbed by fish and then spliced them into a plant called ‘Camelina sativa’ which is widely grown for its seed oil.

It is the first example of a new generation of so-called ‘nutraceuticals’ – plants whose genetic structure has been altered to introduce health-boosting properties.

The plant oil has been created to be fed to farmed fish, such as salmon, to boost their Omega-3 content and make food healthier for shoppers.

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Farmed fish grown in cages are unable to absorb sufficient Omega-3 in their diets so they have to be fed on smaller fish.

A new study showed that salmon who were fed on the oil thrived.

Dr Monica Betancor, who carried out the fish experiments at the University of Stirling, said: “This is highly significant because fish oil is a finite and limited resource, very expensive and the increasing demands for it by the fish farming industry will not be met in the future. So we really need to develop effective alternatives like this one.”

Read full, original article: Genetically modified crop successfully fed to salmon, say scientists

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