Genetically-engineered salmon could be a good choice for dinner plates

An AquAdvantage salmon, the first GM animal product to be approved for consumption.
An AquAdvantage salmon, the first GM animal product to be approved for consumption.PHOTO: REUTERS

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the nod to the AquAdvantage salmon, which has been genetically-modified to grow much faster than conventional farmed salmon. This is the first GM animal product to be approved for consumption. Here's why it could be a sound choice:

- The FDA says after rigorously evaluations that the inserted genes remained stable over several generations of fish, that it is safe to eat, and the genetic engineering is safe for the fish.

- The fish are all sterile females, and cannot breed among themselves or with other salmon. They are also grown in contained land-based systems, so are unlikely to be have an impact on wild populations.

 

- Since the salmon grows faster, it will have a smaller environmental footprint. Land-based aquaculture systems used for beeding also means the fish can be farmed close to major consumer markets in a more sustainable manner.