Genetically modified salmon. (Photo: AquaBounty)
FDA vetoes GM salmon import
Tuesday, February 02, 2016, 02:40 (GMT + 9)
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned the import of genetically modified (GM) salmon until it issues the product labelling guidelines.
In Alaska, many politicians have reiterated their opposition to GM salmon marketing as fishermen’s wild caught sockeye will have to compete with genetically manipulated fish that grows at twice the rate of wild salmon.
Senator Lisa Murkowski expressed her satisfaction with the FDA announcement.
“This is a huge step in our fight against ‘Frankenfish’. I adamantly oppose the FDA’s misguided decision to allow GE salmon to be placed in our kitchens and on our tables, and I firmly believe that mandatory labelling guidelines must be put in place as soon as possible so consumers know what it is they are purchasing,” the legislator said.
“It seems that the FDA has begun to listen, and I hope this is a sign that the agency plans to develop these necessary guidelines,” she added.
Last November, the FDA had given green light to AquaBounty Technologies Inc. to start marketing its AquAdvantage salmon.
This new restriction of the agency follows a bill that became law on 18 December by which FDA must issue the new guidelines before the fish can be sold.
Chief Executive Officer of the biotechnology company, Ronald Stotish, minimize the impact of the action taken by the FDA: “The decision has no impact on AquaBounty’s operations as we are not currently importing our salmon into the U.S.”
“The fish are grown in tanks at facilities in Canada and Panama,” the executive noted.
Under the import ban, all shipments suspected to contain GE salmon are to be held and forwarded to the local FDA District Compliance Branch, Regulatory Focus informed.
The measure will be in force during 2016.
- FDA requested to regulate GM salmon labelling
- GM salmon approval raises suspicions among retailers
- FDA approves GM salmon for human consumption