AquaBounty considers labeling its GE salmon
Following the recent criticism in Canada surrounding its genetically engineered salmon, AquaBounty said it may label its offerings moving forward.
Canada’s major grocery chains, along with numerous restaurants, seafood suppliers, and wholesalers have said they will not sell AquaBounty’s AquAdvantage salmon. Several consumer and environmental groups have also criticized the approval of AquaBounty’s Rollo Bay, Prince Edward Island facility and the sale of GE salmon in Canada, because there is no mandatory labeling of GE foods in the country.
In addition, Canada’s farmed salmon producers said this month they will not sell or produce genetically engineered salmon.
“Transparency is an important consideration for us and for consumers. Therefore, we are considering our labeling options and working with potential customers to determine the appropriate approach,” AquaBounty said in a statement to SeafoodSource.
While potential labeling of AquAdvantage salmon is helpful to AquaBounty’s buyers, it is not enough to benefit Canadian consumers, Lucy Sharratt, coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, told SeafoodSource.
"If AquaBounty labels, they would be labeling their product for the benefit of buyers, food manufacturers, and foodservice companies. Those companies would then decide if the end-point consumer actually gets a label,” Sharratt said. "Every player in the seafood industry should be pressing the government for mandatory labeling to solve this problem."
Still, if AquaBounty labels its product this will help food companies “purchase the salmon products they want and inform their customers,” according to Sharratt.
AquaBounty’s first harvest will be available in the fall of 2020.