The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took another step toward approving genetically modified salmon for sale to consumers.
AquAdvantage salmon, which are engineered to mature twice as fast as natural salmon, are not likely dangerous for human consumption or the environment, the FDA has ruled. Now, a final decision on the fish will be made after the agency allows 60 days for public comment, according to Reuters.
While the FDA found that there was “a reasonable certainty of no harm from consumption” of AquaAdvantage salmon, environmental and consumer activists expressed concern that the salmon could potentially cause allergic reactions. Critics also warned that the FDA might not require genetically modified salmon to be properly labeled.
One environmental advocate described the FDA decision “a blow to consumer confidence” and called on Congress to prevent the final approval of AquaAdvantage salmon.
By reducing the time it takes salmon to grow large enough to be harvested for market, AquaBounty Technology, which developed the fish, hopes to boost worldwide salmon production.
Company officials said the FDA announcement was unexpected and that they were unaware of the remaining timetable for the fish’s final approval.