Is Genetically Modified Fish Safe For Consumers?

Have you heard a salmon fish that can grow at twice as the normal rate and can grow to market size in half the time as a non modified fish?

Well, this is no longer remote anymore, a developer of salmon is getting an approval from US Food and Drug Administration for a decade now regarding their first genetically modified fish that people want to eat.

The salmon developer has already submitted most of the data to FDA which needs to analyze whether it is nutritionally equivalent to other salmon and safe to the environment according to government and biotechnology industry officials.

A public meeting has yet to be held by FDA to discuss the genetically modified salmon and the viability of getting it approved. Some environmentalists as well as consumers are expected to raise their objection as to its approval.

Aquabounty Technologies, the salmon developer based in Waltham, Massachusetts has said that FDA had already sign off on five of the seven sets of data required to demonstrate that the fish is safe for consumption and environmentally friendly.

It said also that the inserted gene did not change through multiple generations and the genetic engineering process did not harm the fish. The salmon documented data has been confirmly reviewed by FDA but would not comment further due to confidentiality.

Aside from crops, FDA is regulating genetically modified animals as if they were regulating veterinary drugs, using the same rules in its confidentiality.
Critics say that the process does not allow full assessment of the possible environmental impacts of genetically altered animals, it has also blocked public input and consumers are being denied of information.

“There is no opportunity for anyone from the outside, to see the data and criticize it,” stressed Margaret Mellon, director of the food and environment program at the Union of Concern Scientists.

How consumers will react remain to be seen. But public opinion surveys have shown that American consumers are more wary about genetically engineered animals than that of crops. However, in another poll survey it has suggested that many Americans would accept the genetically engineered animal if it can offer environmental and nutritional benefits.