April 27, 2018


US production of GE salmon receives approval



The US has approved the application of the producer of the genetically engineered AquAdvantage Salmon to raise the fish at a land-based contained facility near Albany, Indiana, it was announced Thursday.


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, said company will be prohibited from importing the eggs necessary for producing the GE salmon at the facility because of a requirement in the current appropriations law.


In November 2015, the FDA approved the consumption of AquAdvantage Salmon, its first approval for a GE animal intended for food. 


Later, however, in early 2016, it issued an import alert, which temporarily halted imports of the GE salmon, pending the publication of the final rules regarding product labelling.


The alert was in response to a specific provision in the 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Act, which states that the FDA may not allow the introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce any food that contains GE salmon, until final labelling guidelines for informing consumers of such content are published.


The FDA said it considers salmon eggs as food under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.


In 2016, after FDA issued the alert, Congress passed the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Law, which charged the Department of Agriculture with promulgating regulations regarding the labelling of food derived from "bioengineered" sources, which has implications for this import alert and the labelling of this salmon product.


At this time, the FDA's import alert continues to remain in effect, which mean AquaBounty cannot import AquAdvantage Salmon, including its eggs or any food from the salmon, into the US.


AquAdvantage Salmon, which is an Atlantic salmon that reaches market size faster than non-GE farm-raised Atlantic salmon, is produced by Massachusetts-based AquaBounty Technologies from eggs produced in Canada. The salmon eggs are hatched at the company's grow-out facility in Panama, where fish grow to maturity.