A genetically modified salmon, ominously dubbed the Frankenfish, recently took another step from the farm to your plate.
The Food and Drug Administration last week released an environmental report on the impact of the AquaAdvantage salmon, developed and patented (yes, patented) by Massachussets-based AquaBounty Technologies. The FDA concluded the salmon "will not have any significant impacts on the quality of the human environment of the United States," according to USA Today.
More than two years ago the FDA also said the fish, which grows at more than twice the rate of natural salmon, was safe to eat, but hasn't taken any further steps.
"Executives for the company behind the fish... speculated that the government was delaying action on their application due to push-back from groups who oppose genetically modified food animals," USA Today's story continued.
The FDA is taking comments from the public for the next two months before finalizing the report. Feel free to visit FDA.gov and let them know your thoughts.
AquaBounty's website says the fish, whose eggs will be sold to farmers, contains a gene from Chinook salmon that boosts its growth cycle. There's also an "on-switch" gene that induces the salmon to eat year round, according to The Olympian.
The company markets the fish as an "environmentally sustainable alternative to current farmed salmon." All eggs will hatch sterile, female fish that can survive in inland fisheries. With no chance to escape or reproduce the company says they pose no harm to wild salmon populations.
The ability to grow salmon in inland fisheries also means they can be raised closer to consumption markets, keeping costs down for you, the consumer. Since, however, companies aren't yet required by law to label genetically modified food you won't even know the difference. Just add some garlic and butter. Delicious.
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