FDA approves sale of GMO salmon with no label

Posted at 9:37 AM, Nov 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-20 10:37:21-05

It's a first for our food supply. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the sale of 'genetically engineered' salmon Thursday. But, some consumers are concerned that the fish will not bear the genetically-modified organism ("GMO," for short) label in stores. 

"I want to know what they're putting in it, so I know what I'm eating or not eating," said Caryn Peters, who eats salmon three times a week. 

The FDA gave the go-ahead to a company called Aqua-Bounty Technologies, that farms fish in tanks in Canada and Panama. The company changes the salmon's DNA so it grows faster and needs 25 percent less feed. The label will likely read 'Atlantic salmon' once it hits the market. 

"The big issue with GMO is the unintended or unseen effects that could occur by tweaking one of the genetic codes," said Bruce Johnson, fish monger and owner of Seafood Landing in Denver. 

Johnson said farmers have used selective breeding for decades to get the same desired effects. He thinks customers deserve to know what they are buying. 

"I rather just, you know, get it from the ocean and fisherman and get it shipped over," said Lorenzo Harris, a salmon shopper.

But only time will tell if shoppers will buy the new salmon, or if they will be able to tell the difference. 

The FDA chose not to use the GMO label because the genetically-engineered fish has the same nutritional value. The government claims it is safe to eat and poses little harm to the environment.


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