A Massachusetts-based company called AquaBounty Technologies is the first to develop a genetically modified salmon. The company announced on August 4 it sold about five tons of its AquAdvantage salmon in Canada, and made $53,000 in revenue from the sales of the fish. The sales of this GMO salmon are the first time a GMO animal has been sold to consumers for human consumption.
The salmon are engineered to have genes from Pacific salmon and an Arctic eelpout. The Center for Food Safety, which sued the FDA to block approval for sale, describes the modifications to the salmon as producing “growth hormone year-round, allegedly creating a fish that grows at twice the normal rate of a typical Atlantic salmon.” The GMO salmon eggs are raised in a facility on Prince Edward Island and then the fish are shipped and raised in a facility in Panama.
Aquabounty claims that its salmon is “better for the environment and consumers,” and it “believes in sustainable seafood production.” Despite AquaBounty’s assurances, Food and Water Watch has expressed a number of environmental concerns with the salmon.