Although a number of consumer and environmental groups have been fighting to keep genetically engineered salmon from reaching the dinner table, the FDA sees no reason not to approve its sale noting that they have found no evidence that it is unsafe for consumption. In fact, they have declared it to be “as safe as food from conventional Atlantic salmon.”
The modified salmon as sold by AquaBounty Technologies of Massachusetts, is actually Atlantic salmon that has been modified with growth hormone from Chinook salmon and a gene from an eel-like fish known as a pout, which makes it grow to “market size” in half the time as unaltered fish. AquaBounty first applied for permission to sell it back in 1995.
Still, if they can’t succeed in stopping the sale of the genetically altered fish, Friends of the Earth (an international network of environmental groups) is leading efforts to encourage retailers such as Trader Joe’s Whole Foods and Target not to sell it in the first place.
“Our goal is to make sure there is not an available market for genetically engineered seafood,” stated Dana Perls, food and technology campaigner for the network. “People don’t want it, and markets are going to follow what the people want.”