August 17, 2021
US wholesale restaurant supplier to sell AquaBounty's genetically engineered salmon
Pennsylvania, US-based Samuels and Son Seafood plans to start selling the world's first publicly-available genetically engineered salmon this month.
The wholesale restaurant supplier is so far the only company to publicly announce its decision to sell AquaBounty Technologies' genetically-engineered AquAdvantage salmon, according to Samuels and Son director of purchasing Joe Lasprogata.
"We've been pretty clear from the beginning that we're supportive of this project that AquaBounty is leading, and that we're excited to be able to introduce it to consumers," Lasprogata told SeafoodSource. "We feel like this is going to be a very important product in the future."
Lasprogata said the success of the product, like any other, will be determined by customer preference.
"We have 15 to 20 brands of salmon, and every customer has their specifications," he continued. "Once we get it in and start selling, it will be up to our customers whether or not its successful. There are always a lot of new seafood products out there – some stick and some don't. We always want to give interesting ones a shot."
Lasprogata said Samuels and Son plans to start handling AquAdvantage salmon like any other new product – taking in about 1,000 pounds twice a week.
Aquabounty Technologies has received pushback on its GE salmon product from environmental groups, NGOs and some politicians, but Lasprogata said feedback on his end has been relatively quiet.
"There have been a few emails and phone calls from people who are disappointed we're handling this product, mostly from the general public," said Lasprogata. "Those people are just concerned and have misinformation about the product and bioengineering in general. I'll take those calls and relay correct information on the product. I can't say I've changed anyone's mind on it, but we're getting facts out there."