Smart SpendingSmart Spending

'Frankenfish' likely to be approved as food

A fast-growing salmon is on track to be the first genetically modified animal sold for human consumption.

By Karen Datko Oct 27, 2010 3:22PM

This post comes from Martha Lynn Craver of partner site Kiplinger.com.

 

A fast-growing genetically engineered salmon is a good bet for approval by the Food and Drug Administration. It would be the first genetically modified animal sold as food.

 

Dubbed "Frankenfish" by opponents, the new version of Atlantic salmon was developed by AquaBounty Technologies. It grows almost twice as fast as farm-raised salmon, thanks to one growth hormone gene from a chinook salmon and another from an eel called the ocean pout. The application has been pending before the agency for well over 10 years. The post continues after this video, which examined the issue last month.

A congressional effort to ban the fish will fail, although it's a fair bet that lawmakers will give the FDA the authority to require a label identifying the product as genetically modified.

 

"Approval of genetically modified salmon, the first such hybrid to be considered for human consumption, is unprecedented, risky and a threat to the survival of wild species," says Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, whose state has a thriving salmon industry.

 

Also likely to be on the table: broadening the mission of regulators to ensure they consider environmental risks before granting future approvals -- not just whether the food is safe and whether animals are harmed by the genetic manipulation.

 

A push to add greater public input to the approval process is also a good bet. The current procedure is similar to that for new drugs, with limited public participation. "The current process is confidential. It's not transparent or participatory," says Gregory Jaffe of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

 

Next up: The Enviropig -- a porker genetically altered to make the manure it produces less polluting, with phosphorus levels 30% to 65% lower than normal. It's being developed by scientists at the University of Guelph in Canada. Also in the works from Hematech Inc. are cattle that are not susceptible to mad cow disease. The animals lack a protein that mutates, so they don't get the disease and can't pass it on.

 

More from Kiplinger.com and MSN Money:

0Comments

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

ABOUT SMART SPENDING

Smart Spending brings you the best money-saving tips from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

TOOLS

More