Genetically Modified Salmon Still Waiting FDA Approval


April Forristall, assistant editor

Published on
February 11, 2009

Aqua Bounty Farms on Tuesday announced it is hopeful the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will this year approve the company’s AquAdvantage Advanced farmed Atlantic salmon hybrid.

The hybrid is made by crossing Atlantic salmon with a hormone from Pacific chinook salmon to allow it to grow much faster than regular wild salmon.

The fish reach market size twice as fast as traditional broodstock and convert feed into body mass 10 to 30 percent more efficiently, according to the Canadian company. The fish are also neutered so the threat of interbreeding with native wild populations is avoided.

“If a year-old unmodified salmon weighs 70 or 80 grams, then a year-old (modified) salmon would weigh a kilogram or slightly over,” said Ron Stotish, Aqua Bounty CEO.

The full-grown modified fish do not end up larger than the natural fish.

An exact date for approval has not been released.

Aqua Bounty is also developing advanced-hybrid trout and tilapia broodstock at its Prince Edward Island farm. 

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