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Genetically modified salmon

Genetically modified salmon for human consumption

Company develops a fish that grows two times faster and eats less feed

AquaBounty TechnologiesCompany develops a fish that grows two times faster and eats less feedAquaBounty Technologies

In November 2015, after a thorough scientific investigation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first genetically modified animal for human consumption in the United States – a salmon, to be exact. AquaBounty Technologies began developing the fish 20 years ago. The genetically modified salmon is an Atlantic species (Salmo salar) that grows two times faster than the specimens traditionally raised on fish farms. Instead of taking three years, the fish grows to market size within 18 months, consuming 20% to 25% less feed in the process. In a press release, the FDA stated that the genetically modified salmon is as safe and nutritious as the conventional fish. The genetic engineering that created a more productive salmon used genes from two other species. One is for a hormone from the Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), a Pacific species that grows much larger than its Atlantic counterparts. The other – from the eel Zoarces americanus, found in the northwest Atlantic – codes for a promoter sequence of “antifreeze” proteins that enable the genetically modified animal to grow during the winter.