FDA report paves way for genetically altered salmon

first_imgWASHINGTON — Federal health regulators say a genetically modified salmon that grows twice as fast as normal is unlikely to harm the environment, clearing the way for the first approval of a scientifically engineered animal for human consumption.The Food and Drug Administration on Friday released its environmental assessment of the AquaAdvantage salmon, a faster-growing fish which has been subject to a contentious, yearslong debate. The document concludes that the fish “will not have any significant impacts on the quality of the human environment of the United States.” Regulators also said that the fish is unlikely to harm populations of natural salmon, a key concern for environmentalists.The FDA will take comments from the public on its report for 60 days before making it final.The FDA said more than two years ago that the fish appears to be safe to eat, but the agency had taken no public action since then.Experts view the release of the environmental report as the final step before approval. If FDA regulators clear the salmon, as expected, it would be the first genetically altered animal approved for food anywhere in the world.Critics call the modified salmon a “frankenfish.” They worry that it could cause human allergies and the eventual decimation of the natural salmon population if it escapes and breeds in the wild. Others believe breeding engineered animals is an ethical issue.last_img

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