April 5, 2016


US FDA faces lawsuit for GM salmon's approval



Environmental organisations have launched a lawsuit against US health regulators, in an attempt to deny the official approval of a genetically-modified (GM) salmon to be farmed for human consumption, Reuters reported.


According to the lawsuit, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not taken heed to all environmental risks of the fish – which is developed by AquaBounty - upon its approval in November. The organisation is also alleged to have no valid authority to regulate GM animals that are produced for food.


The plaintiffs of suit include the Center for Food Safety, Food and Water Watch, and Friends of the Earth.


The FDA's approval came after a 20-year review. In addition, the AquaBounty salmon was first GM animal to be approved. The salmon can grow to market size in half the time of conventional salmon, AquaBounty claimed.


The review and approval processes are "thorough" and "transparent", Ron Stotish, chief executive of AquaBounty, said.


However, the plaintiffs argued that the approval process has a very "limited environmental assessment" which did not comprehend fully the possibility that the GM salmons could escape from facilities where they are grown.


In the wake of the controversy, major retailers have stated that they will not sell AquaBounty salmon in their stores.


In the meantime, activists remain concerned that the FDA approval may pave the way for more GM food animals to be approved.


- Reuters

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