About 4.5 tonnes of fresh AquAdvantage salmon fillets have been sold in Canada. The fish are the first genetically engineered animal food product on the market. While some consumers are excited about how the salmon can benefit the environment, others have concerns. Rob Wager, a biochemist and member of the biology department at Vancouver Island University, answered some questions about this new fish.
Is genetically engineered salmon safe to eat?
Wager: “Yes, it is. Extensive testing over almost two decades has clearly demonstrated GE (genetically engineered) salmon has the same nutritional profile as non-GE-salmon of the same species. The FDA in the United States and Health Canada have both stated GE salmon is as safe as non-GE salmon.”
Does it taste the same as other salmon?
Wager: “GE salmon has the same flavour, texture and nutritional aspects as the non-GE Atlantic salmon. Each species of salmon tastes a little different owing to fat content, diet of the species etc. Most consumers enjoy the flavour of all the species of salmon (five Pacific species and Atlantic salmon).”
Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam, Cooperative Extension Specialist, Animal Genomics and Biotechnology at the University of California-Davis, explained in this Best Food Facts article how the fish was developed. Read the article.