Genetically engineered foods have been a controversial addition to U.S. dinner plates since the mid-1990s when they began hitting U.S. dinner plates, and their status as unlabeled lab experiments has continued to spark a backlash against them ever since.
Now, the United States, Monsanto and Bayer are preparing to move forward with the next phase of the GMO experiment, as a deal worth over $125 million was signed recently to create new “longer lasting” GMO foods like wheat, strawberries and more.
That deal turned out to be just the tip of the iceberg, however, as a small company out of Canada appears ready to revolutionize the way we breed, raise, and eat fish in the United States and North America in general. Despite hundreds of thousands of signatures against the new GMO lab created fish, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has sided against them, and has now officially cleared the way for GMO salmon to reach dinner plates in the United States.
GMO Salmon Could Hit Dinner Plates by Early Next Year
Last week, the United States FDA officially gave the go-ahead for the new genetically engineered salmon to be sold in the U.S., according to a report from the Anchorage Daily News.
The company, AquaBounty, created the salmon using technology that integrates a chinook salmon growth hormone gene into the genome of an Atlantic salmon, creating a new type of GMO fish that is said to grow faster than a standard Atlantic salmon.
The FDA says it’s safe to eat, but critics point out the lack of long-term safety testing and remain concerned that the fish will almost certainly escape into the wild, contaminating the gene pool of the species and potentially leading to catastrophic unseen effects within ecosystems.
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski pushed back against the release of the GMO salmon in December 2015 out of concerns that it could hurt the region’s wild caught salmon industry.
Now, the push is on to label the new “Frankenfish” before it reaches dinner plates and grocery stores. The new GMO salmon is expected to hit store shelves by 2020, a report from USA Today said.
“I’m extremely disappointed in the FDA’s shortsighted decision,” Murkowski said in a statement Friday. “It is wrong-headed and a bad idea, simple as that. I am not going to back down and will continue my fight to ensure that any salmon product that is genetically engineered be clearly labeled.”
The lifting of the GMO salmon ban means that the fish and its eggs may soon be imported to a facility in Indiana for breeding and harvesting.