28-years in development, GMO salmon now on sale in Canada–while US caught in labeling battle

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The AquaBounty salmon, called AquAdvantage, is an Atlantic salmon that contains a growth hormone gene from a Chinook salmon…In the AquAdvantage salmon, a regulatory switch from an ocean pout gene makes the fish produce growth hormone all the time, so [they] grow rapidly throughout the year.

The FDA approved the salmon in November 2015, and Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency followed in May 2016. Sales began in Canada in 2017….

Genetically modified animals are regulated as drugs, which is why the Food and Drug Administration is responsible.

That could help to explain why these salmon, which were first developed back in 1989, are only now reaching the marketplace. Despite the 2015 approval, the salmon still hasn’t hit U.S. shelves due to a section in the congressional spending bill, which requires that the FDA finalize guidance related to labeling before imports can begin.

The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Act (signed into law in 2016) charges the Agriculture Department with developing a national mandatory standard for disclosing the presence of bioengineered material in food by July 2018. But it is unclear whether the FDA will align its labeling guidance with the USDA’s. Further complicating the debate, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) just this month introduced a bill that would require the salmon to include the label “genetically engineered.”

In Canada, however … five tons of genetically modified salmon filets have been sold so far.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: GMO salmon caught in U.S. regulatory net, but Canadians have eaten 5 tons