Genetically modified Atlantic salmon — known by critics as “Frankenfish” — may soon be available in your local grocer’s seafood aisle. The Food and Drug Administration has given initial approval to the biotech developers of the salmon, clearing the last big hurdle before consumers can purchase the fish.
But consumers won’t know if the salmon they’re buying is genetically engineered or not — U.S. regulations don’t require food made from a genetically modified organism (GMO) to be labeled. That fact, plus the impact the engineered salmon could have on wild salmon stocks, human health and the fishing industry, has critics raising a stink with the FDA, according to the Huffington Post.
The Atlantic salmon developed by Massachusetts-based AquaBounty was genetically modified using DNA material from a Chinook salmon and an eel-like species called an ocean pout. These genes cause the fish to grow twice as fast as wild salmon, according to the British newspaper The Telegraph, making production of the fish far more cost effective.