To celebrate the anniversary of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of our AquAdvantage Salmon for commercial production and consumption, we are posting a series of articles that have appeared over the past year and prior. The following article discusses the work of William Muir, PhD and his recommendations to the FDA regarding our salmon.
A Purdue University scientist is urging federal officials to decide whether genetically engineered salmon would be allowed for U.S. consumption and arguing that not doing so may set back scientific efforts to increase food production.
William Muir, a professor of animal sciences, said that based on data made available by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, AquAdvantage (AA) salmon poses little real risk to the environment or human health. AA salmon were given a gene from Chinook salmon that speeds growth and improves feed efficiency in farm-raised fish. Developed by AquaBounty Technologies, the fish would be spawned in Canada and grown to full size in Panama, both of which are land-based, contained facilities.
“We realize that any new technology can have risks, and those risks need to be assessed in a thorough and convincing manner,” Muir said. “However, once the assessment has been completed and the agency concludes from the weight of evidence that risks of harm, either to the environment or to consumers, is negligible, the next step, which is to allow production and sale of the product, needs to be taken.”
Muir and Alison L. Van Eenennaam, an animal genomics and biotechnology Extension specialist at the University of California Davis, made the call for FDA approval in a peer-reviewed commentary in the early online version of the journal Nature Biotechnology. Read the article.