Saturday, September 04, 2010

FDA Preliminary Analysis of Genetically Modified Salmon

The Globe has the scoop here. A sample:

Salmon engineered in Eastern Canada to grow twice as fast as their wild counterparts are poised to become the first genetically modified animal approved for human consumption in North America.

The DNA-altered salmon are “as safe to eat as food as other Atlantic salmon” and have “no biologically relevant differences,” the United States Food and Drug Administration said in a preliminary analysis of the fish released Friday. The federal food regulator is set to hold three days’ worth of public hearings later this month to review questions over whether the salmon are safe to eat and safe for the environment – a step widely perceived as one of the fish’s final hurdles to entering the human food chain.

....“Instead of flying salmon from the south of Chile or from the North Atlantic or Norway, it’s possible to grow salmon closer to consumption centres, reducing their environmental footprint,” he said. And the fish’s double-fast growth rate also offers a potential solution for those concerned with mitigating the impending global food shortage, he said.

“The world population will reach nine billion people in 20 years,” he said. “At that rate, it’s hard to imagine how we will develop food systems able to sustain that world. This technology will be part of the solution.”