A never-before-seen draft environmental review of AquaBounty Technologies’ (ABTX) genetically engineered (GE) salmon reveals that Canadian government scientists disagree with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on key questions related to the safety and performance of what may be the first GE animal approved for human consumption. In light of these findings, Food & Water Watch, Center for Food Safety, Friends of the Earth and Consumers Union today called on the FDA to terminate its ongoing review of GE salmon.
The partially redacted, 400-page draft risk assessment from the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans makes startling findings about the welfare and performance of GE salmon, including that GE salmon:
Are more susceptible to Aeromonas salmonicida, a type of disease-causing bacteria, than non-GE domesticated salmon, which indicates unique animal health problems and raises environmental and public health concerns that the FDA has never considered.
Are exhibiting dramatically diminished growth rates in AquaBounty’s commercial facilities, casting more doubt on the widely disputed claims about the accelerated growth rates of GE salmon.
Are displaying widely varied performance, including inconsistent growth rates, suggesting that the growth-hormone gene construct inserted in the fish is not operating in a predictable manner, raising questions about the durability, safety and commercial viability of GE salmon.