On Jan. 5, the Canadian Press reported that genetically engineered fish developed at the University of Toronto are one step closer to FDA approval. The modified fish, intended for fish farms, grow twice as fast as conventional salmon, significantly reducing the cost of raising the salmon and bringing them to market.
The Food and Drug Administration recently ruled that the fish which contain the DNA of eels, and two types of salmon, ‘have no significant environmental impact’ and deemed them safe for human consumption.
Critics, however, warn that the salmon could escape and infiltrate the wild salmon population, possibly causing unwanted changes in natural salmon population. "Genetic modification is really sort of untested,” Jay Ritchlin, western region director for the David Suzuki Foundation warned.
Senator Mark Begich,whose Alaskan constituency could be impacted by the sales of the cheaper, captively raised salmon is also opposed to the transgenic fish. "I will fight tooth and nail with my Alaska colleagues to make sure consumers have a clear choice when it comes to wild and sustainable versus lab-grown science projects," he said in a statement after the FDA announced their decision.