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Editor's Note: GM salmon brouhaha

Fiona Robinson, Associate Publisher/Editor
Fiona Robinson, Associate Publisher/Editor
October 01, 2010

In the late 1990's when SeaFood Business first wrote about AquaBounty Technologies developing a genetically modified (GM) salmon there was little talk about the market ramifications. Fast-forward 12 years, and now that the GM Atlantic salmon is nearing approval by the Food and Drug Administration, a firestorm has erupted over what could be the United States' first GM animal approved for human consumption. See our print issue's News Recap story and Media Watch columns.

What vexes most consumer groups is the labeling issue. I've always been a proponent of giving the consumer as much information as possible and let them choose. But the FDA says it can't require a different label under current food-labeling rules - the GM salmon doesn't have any major differences from traditional farmed salmon.

Retailers are already mandated under country-of-origin labeling regulations to show if a seafood species is wild or farmed and the origin. But how would they add GM to that label?

Maybe a branded product name for the GM salmon can be developed to make it easy to differentiate in the market. The seafood industry loves tinkering with names to make a species more attractive. How about "salpo" (salmon + pout)?

As always, I welcome your opinion on the matter. E-mailtweet, or send me a note on Facebook.


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