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AquaBounty Receives FDA Approval for GM Salmon

19 November 2015

US - The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved AquaBounty Technologies's New Animal Drug Application for the production, sale, and consumption of its AquAdvantage® GM salmon.

The company's Atlantic salmon has been genetically enhanced to reach market size in less time than conventional farmed Atlantic salmon.

The FDA determined that AquAdvantage salmon meets all the statutory requirements for safety and effectiveness under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Among the requirements the company had to meet are that food from the fish is safe to eat, the rDNA construct that makes the salmon grow faster, is safe for the fish itself and that the AquAdvantage salmon meets the company's claim about faster growth.

The FDA also determined that food from the GM salmon is as safe to eat and as nutritious as food from other non-GE Atlantic salmon and that there are no biologically relevant differences in the nutritional profile of AquAdvantage salmon compared to that of other farm-raised Atlantic salmon

Commenting on the decision, Ronald L. Stotish, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of AquaBounty, stated: “AquAdvantage salmon is a game-changer that brings healthy and nutritious food to consumers in an environmentally responsible manner without damaging the ocean and other marine habitats. Using land-based aquaculture systems, this rich source of protein and other nutrients can be farmed close to major consumer markets in a more sustainable manner.”

The US currently imports over 90 per cent of all the seafood, and more specifically over 95 per cent of the Atlantic salmon, it consumes. AquAdvantage salmon will offer the opportunity for an economically viable domestic aquaculture industry while providing consumers a fresh and delicious product.

Through greater efficiency and localized production, AquaBounty’s AquAdvantage salmon increases productivity while reducing costs and the environmental impacts associated with current salmon farming operations.

Land-based aquaculture systems can provide a continuous supply of fresh, safe, traceable, and sustainable AquAdvantage salmon to communities across the US and do it with a reduced carbon footprint. Importantly, it offers an alternative approach to fish farming that does not exploit the oceans.

Jack A. Bobo, Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer at Intrexon, stated: “The US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee encourages Americans to eat a wide variety of seafood—including wild caught and farmed—as part of a healthy diet rich in healthy fatty acids. However, this must occur in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner. FDA’s approval of the AquAdvantage salmon is an important step in this direction.”

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