No 'Frankensalmon' in America: Congress bans FDA from approving GM fish
Daily Mail (UK)
16th June 2011
Genetically modified salmon will not go on sale in the U.S.
The House of Congress has voted to ban the Food and Drug Administration from passing the fish fit for human consumption.
The FDA had said last year that they thought the fish, which grows twice as fast as normal salmon, appeared to be safe.
And they were expected to rule on the modified food later this year.
But an advisory panel had indicated that more studies would be needed before it could be served on the nation's dinner tables.
If the FDA had approved the salmon it would be the first time the government allowed such modified animals to be marketed for human consumption.
The salmon which grows at double-speed was created by Massachusetts company AquaBounty.
They claim it is safe and environmentally sustainable.
But Alaskan Republican Don Young moved to block the move and offered an amendment to a farm spending bill on Wednesday that would prohibit the FDA from spending money to approve AquaBounty's application.
The amendment was passed and The House is expected to pass the bill later this week.
Young argued that the modified fish would compete with wild salmon in his state.
Other critics have labelled the modified salmon a 'frankenfish' that possibly could cause allergies in humans and eventually decimate the wild salmon population.
AquaBounty has added a growth hormone from a Chinook salmon that allows the fish to produce their growth hormone all year long.
The bioengineers were able to keep the hormone active by using another gene from an eel-like fish called an ocean pout that acts like an on switch for the hormone, according to the company.
Conventional salmon produce the growth hormone for only part of their life cycle.
The FDA has appeared favorable toward the engineered fish, saying there are no biologically relevant difference between the engineered salmon and conventional salmon and there is a reasonable certainty of no harm from its consumption.
The agency is also considering whether the fish needs to be labelled as modified.
Approval would open the door for a variety of other genetically engineered animals, including a more environmentally-friendly pig that is being developed in Canada or cattle that are resistant to mad cow disease.
Each would have to be approved by the FDA.
The Senate has not ruled on the issue.