If you're a fan of omega-3-rich salmon, you might want to know about a new ruling by the Food and Drug Administration, which just approved a new genetically modified salmon as safe to eat.
The new AquAdvantage salmon is a type of Atlantic salmon that features genes from Chinook salmon along with a gene switch from a sea animal called the ocean pout, to make it mature faster than normal salmon. This allows farmers to raise the fish to be ready for consumption in half the time a non genetically modified salmon would be.
The approval of the AquAdvantage salmon has been in the works for years, which the FDA says is because this is the first approval of its kind. "The F.D.A. has thoroughly analyzed and evaluated the data and information submitted by AquaBounty regarding the AquAdvantage salmon and determined that they have met the regulatory requirements for approval, including that food from the fish is safe to eat," it said in a statement. Opponents and consumer groups, however, argue that the safety studies done on the fish were inadequate, and wild populations of salmon might be affected if this new fish were to escape to the wild. Even more worrisome for those who want to know what's in their food: the FDA says that, like other currently genetically engineered foods, the fish will not have to be labeled as GMO once it's on the market.
Genetically modified foods have been hotly debated for several years, with many opponents arguing that GMO foods aren't safe and that more transparency about genetically engineered ingredients is needed. Whatever you think about GMO food, this latest addition to the food chain probably won't be available for another two years, according to The New York Times.