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Fish feed enhanced with omega-3 oil? UK scientists developing more nutritious food for farmed salmon

| | August 2, 2018
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Researchers …. are giving farmed salmon feed made from genetically modified crops. The aim of the scientific trial is to increase the nutritional value of the fish. The feed is rich in healthy fish oils, which the team hope will be absorbed by the salmon.

Tests have shown that levels of an oil called omega-3 have decreased by half in farmed salmon in the past 10 years. It is what makes the fish so healthy. The oil is thought to be involved in brain development and reduces the risk of heart disease, arthritis and diabetes.

The salmon get their omega-3 from eating other oily fish, such as anchovies …. But there’s a limited supply of anchovies and a growing demand for the salmon….

Related article:  Post Brexit UK ag biotech policy: USDA official calls European approach to GMOs and food safety 'old-fashioned, based on traditions and not modern science'

Researchers have added a gene from a type of marine algae to a camelina plant to produce the omega-3 fish oil. Lab tests show that fish fed on this oil have boosted levels of omega-3. The question that the researchers are now trying to answer is whether the same happens on a real fish farm.

“I think the technology has a great deal to offer, [said Prof Johnathan Napier, who developed the GM plants at Rothamsted Research.  … Especially now that we are going to be leaving the EU, we could make this an opportunity as to how we regulate GM.”

Read full, original article: Trial to test if GM fed salmon are more nutritious

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