FDA approves AquAdvantage genetically engineered salmon

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has made two announcements, the first involving the initial approval for a genetically engineered animal intended for food called AquAdvantage Salmon and a second concerning two guidances for manufacturers who wish to voluntarily label whether or not their products contain genetically engineered sources.

AquaBounty Technologies had its application for AquAdvantae Salmon approved by the FDA. The salmon is different from all others because the genetic engineering allows the Atlantic salmon to grow faster than non-genetically engineered farm-raised salmon.

“The FDA has thoroughly analyzed and evaluated the data and information submitted by AquaBounty Technologies regarding AquAdvantage Salmon and determined that they have met the regulatory requirements for approval, including that food from the fish is safe to eat,” Bernadette Dunham, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, said.

The FDA is responsible for ensuring food products meet applicable safety, labeling and other requirements. However, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act the FDA is only allowed to require additional labeling on genetically engineered food if there is a material difference in the genetically engineered product.

“We recognize that some consumers are interested in knowing whether food ingredients are derived from GE sources,” Susan Mayne, director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said. “The FDA is issuing two guidance documents that explain how food companies that want to voluntarily label their products can provide this information to consumers.”

The documents are drafts for voluntary labeling and a final guidance on voluntary labeling.

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