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FDA Lifts Import ban on genetically modified salmon that now market twice as fast



Salmon is harvested off the Maine coast, 2008.
Photo: Robert F. Bukaty (AP)

On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration announced that it is lifting an import ban that prevented a brand name genetically CNN reported.

The FDA originally removed AquaAdvantage salmon, which is genetically engineered to grow year-round and thus reach the market twice as fast as unmodified salmon, in 201

5 after a long, year-long review, CNN wrote. However, Congress passed a law in 2016 that mandated the formation of labeling guidelines that informed customers that the fish were genetically modified standards that were not finalized until late last year.

CNN reported:

In December, [U.S. Department of Agriculture] issued the standard, requiring manufacturers, importers and certain dealers to inform whether a product was bioengineerted using either text, a symbol, an electronic or digital link and / or a text message.

On Friday, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said because of the 2016 law and the USDA's standard, his agency no longer has the authority to issue marking guidance. "

" The FDA believes, however, that this Congress's mandate has been satisfied by the USDA's issue of final regulation to implement this law late 2018 because the law and regulations require human food containing GE salmon to carry labeling indicating that it is bioengineered. said Gottlieb in a statement.

According to Star Press, the company behind AquaAdvantage, AquaBounty, has a fishing village in Albany, Indiana, who waited for approval to begin importing fish eggs from another company plant at Prince Edward Island in Canada. Seafoods publication IntraFish reported that AquaBounty is worth exploding with $ 50 million almost immediately after the FDA announcement. (While trading in the range of $ 2-2.25 for much of the week, the stock broke short of $ 5 late on Friday.)

The FDA found that AquaAdvantage salmon does not pose a risk to human health, is healthy, and would have no significant impact on the environment. As the Washington Post noted in 2017, the fish is designed to be exclusively feminine and sterile, even if the process is not entirely effective, and AquaBounty's Prince Edward Island plant is surrounded by salt water, where it believes the eggs cannot survive. The fish is already available in limited qualities on the market in Canada, where labeling is discretionary and up to merchants, the post added.

However, as the Associated Press reported, a "coalition of consumer, environmental and fishing groups" was filed a lawsuit requesting the FDA's approval of the fish to be discarded. That color is still in progress.

"We believe that a remedy in our case would stop the sale of the fish before they can be sold," George Kimbrell, a legal director of the Food Safety Center, who opposes court approval, told the AP.

Kimbrell told AP that his organization had concerns that the fish could escape and breed with unmodified salmon in the wild, and that the information rules only mandated the use of the relatively unknown term "bioengineered" and could hide the same language behind a scalable QR code on the package. Labeling implementation will not start until 2020, and compliance will not be mandatory until 2022, the AP wrote.

"A loophole has now been created that allows the first genetically modified animal that is designed for human consumption to enter the US market: GMO Atlantic salmon," said the Confederation of Fishermen's Association Director Noah Oppenheim to the SF Bay Area Independent Media Center. "The fishermen have opposed the possibility that these Frankenfish come into our waters and our markets for many years, and we will not stop now."

Salmon is the only genetically modified animal approved by the FDA to be sold for human food, but many other products are likely to follow in the AquaAdvantages wake. According to AP, AquaBounty says it expects its Indiana farm to get final certification soon, and the salmon will take about 18 months to grow to a 10-pound fall size after they arrive.
[U.S. Department of Agriculture]


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