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FDA Gm salmon approval continues generating controversy. (Photo: Stock File)

GM salmon approval raises suspicions among retailers

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015, 03:00 (GMT + 9)

The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s clearance of genetically modified salmon for sale for human consumption has raised strong criticism and has led certain retailers to reject the product.

Given the pressure exercised from some groups, who have nicknamed this GM salmon "Frankefish" and that worry it could cause human allergies and the eventual decimation of the wild population if it escapes, retailers including CostcoWhole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Target, Giant Eagle and Kroger have all said they are not planning to sell AquAdvantage Salmon, Seattle Times reported.

“Although the FDA has approved the sale of GM salmon, Costco has not sold and does not intend to sell GM salmon at this time,” the warehouse store chain said in a statement.

Meanwhile Shop 'n Save said it is evaluating the product and has made no decision about selling it and Wal-Mart said it was not ready to comment. Aldi and Kuhn's didn't respond to questions from the media.

However, Friends of the Earth, who opposed to the FDA approval of the AquAdvantage Salmon, explained that Aldi is one of the more than 60 chains that have pledged not to sell GM salmon.

Kelsey Sukel, chief operating officer for Marty's Market in the Strip, also expressed his opposition to FDA's decision and stated that he supports a boycott of the product.

Meanwhile, the firm developing this controversial fish, AquaBounty Technologies, on its website stresses that it recycles 95 per cent of the water it uses and raises a disease-free, antibiotic-free salmon" that "grows to market-size using 25 per cent less feed than any Atlantic salmon on the market today.

"Our AquAdvantage Salmon -- descended from a stock that originated in a river feeding into the Bay of Fundy -- has a mild delicate flake, and the meat is moderately firm. Blind taste tests have consistently found that our AquAdvantage Salmon is among the world's most delicious," as AquaBounty has stressed.

Apart from retailers, several restaurant owners also oppose offering GM salmon in their menus. Such is the case of Legal Sea Foods president Roger Berkowitz, who claimed he would remain skeptical as to whether these fish are perfectly proper to eat.

“I would not serve it in our restaurants, as I’m personally not convinced of its impact on our bodies, either long- or short-term,’’ he said in an e-mail interview.

Related articles:

- Environmentalists worry about GMO salmon approval for human consumption
- Alaska senators decry FDA approval of AquAdvantage salmon


 



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