The FDA has approved AquAdvantage Salmon, a genetically engineered Atlantic salmon. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s coming to a grocery store near you.
The salmon deploys borrowed DNA from another fish, the ocean pout, that allows it to grow much more quickly than its non-GE farm-raised counterparts. The FDA determined the fish is safe for human consumption and is approved to be grown under strict containment so the genetically modified fish won’t make it into the wild.
This approval did not impress many major retailers, however – more than 60 retail chains have pledged they will not sell AquAdvantage Salmon, including Kroger, Costco, Target, Aldi, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and HyVee.
“In order to protect marine resources and ensure future seafood supplies, Hy-Vee strongly believes that genetically engineered seafood has no place in its stores,” the company noted in a Nov. 24 statement.
Some restaurants, including Red Lobster, say they will not serve the fish in their restaurants, either.
“The market is rejecting GMO salmon. Stores won't sell it, and people don't want to eat it,” says Dana Perls, food and technology policy campaigner with Friends of the Earth.
According to AquaBounty Technologies, the U.S. imports more than 95% of the salmon it consumes and has high hopes AquAdvantage Salmon will open up domestic production.
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