The omega-3 canola oil, which is extracted from rape plants that have been genetically modified to produce the key fatty acid DHA, is produced by Nuseed in Australia. Analysis by NIFES found no DNA traces of genetically-modified rapeseed, giving hope that it might not be classed as a GM product.
Nofima is currently undertaking the trials on salmon in both freshwater and seawater facilities on land, in which increasing amounts of the canola oil were added to the feed. A parallel trial has been carried out on fry in warmer water in Australia, to test the omega-3 sources at different growth rates, to detect any effects that occur with rapid growth in early life.
The salmon given feed containing oil from the GM crop were analysed for growth, composition and health and had the same fillet omega-3 levels as salmon fed with fish oil. Gene expression analyses showed that effects depended on the amount of oil, not the type of oil.
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