Genetically engineered salmon created in Canada are getting closer to becoming the first transgenic animal to be approved for human consumption after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found the fish have no significant environmental impact.
The FDA published its draft environmental assessment last month — one of the final steps in what has been a 17-year regulatory process.
The AquAdvantage salmon developed at Memorial University and the University of Toronto consists of an Atlantic salmon egg that includes genes from Chinook salmon and an eel-like fish called the ocean pout.
AquaBounty Technologies is the Massachussetts-based company that produces the GM salmon eggs at a farm in Prince Edward Island and rears the fish at a fish farm in Panama.
The company says the modification means the salmon grow twice as fast as conventional fish.
Critics fear the so-called Frankenfish could escape their inland fish farms and affect wild populations, and they tried unsuccessfully to have Congress derail the FDA process.
The U.S. FDA has already found the AquAdvantage salmon are safe to eat.