AquaBounty considers labelling genetically modified salmon

CBC.CA | April 16, 2019

The U.S.-based company that's about to start the commercial production of genetically modified salmon in P.E.I. says it's considering labelling the product as such. However, it's not clear what exactly AquaBounty Technologies intends to tell consumers about the fish, which are modified with a growth hormone gene to make them grow faster. "We are considering our labelling options and working with potential customers to determine the appropriate approach," a spokesperson for AquaBounty said in a statement sent to CBC News. The genetically modified salmon, produced in indoor tanks in Rollo Bay, P.E.I., will become the first genetically engineered food animal to be sold in Canadian grocery stores. Environment Canada and Health Canada have given their approval, but it's up to the latter to determine whether products require labelling. "Health Canada requires labelling for food products where clear, scientifically established health risks or significant nutritional changes have been identified that can be mitigated through labelling," said spokesperson Maryse Durette. 'Safe and nutritious,' Health Canada says After a four-year study, the federal agency has determined the genetically modified salmon to be "safe and nutritious" and therefore no labelling is required. AquaBounty's most recent statement on labelling is news to Sylvain Charlebois, a Dalhousie University professor in food distribution and policy. "I did encourage AquaBounty to reconsider its policy around transparency and risk communication," he said Sunday on CBC Radio's Maritime Connection. "It is a pleasant surprise to me because I do think that the industry is starting to realize how important it is to connect with the public more so than ever before to get that social licence." AquaBounty Technologies is planning to grow 250 tonnes of its AquAdvantage salmon in Rollo Bay. The fish will be on the market in late 2020.

Spotlight

A new study published in "Nature Biotechnology" explains how engineered bacteria can detect landmines by glowing under laser light.

Spotlight

A new study published in "Nature Biotechnology" explains how engineered bacteria can detect landmines by glowing under laser light.

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