Following a “thorough and rigorous” scientific review process, Health Canada announced the approval of GMO salmon, also known as AquAdvantage Salmon, last week. The salmon is developed by Massachusetts-based AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. According to a release from Health Canada, the AquAdvantage Salmon underwent safety and nutrition assessments by both Health Canada for use as food and by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for use as livestock feed. The assessments found the salmon to be “as safe and nutritious as” traditional salmon.
The approval was met with distain by several groups, including Friends of the Earth, which called the approval “irresponsible and disappointing” in a news release.
“This approval also comes despite the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans draft risk assessment that questions the health and welfare of AquaBounty Technologies Inc.’s genetically modified salmon. The draft risk assessment concluded that AquaBounty’s GMO salmon are not only ‘more susceptible to Aeromonas salmonicida, a type of disease-causing bacteria,’ but exhibit ‘diminished growth rates’ and ‘widely varied performance.’” –Friends of the Earth news release
More than 60 grocery store chains have committed to keeping GMO salmon off their shelves, including Trader Joe’s, Costco, Whole Foods, Aldi, Target and Safeway.