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Mar 8, 2018

Genetically modified salmon producer AquaBounty advances to product commercialization

AquaBounty, the controversial U.S. firm that has figured out how to make Atlantic salmon grow faster through genetic engineering,  continues its march toward widespread distribution of its salmon. On 12 January, it issued an underwritten public offeringthat is expected to raise USD 12 million (EUR 9.9 million). The company said the new funding will help it build and operate more production facilities in the United States. The company’s story is unique in the seafood industry, many parts of which still do not accept AquaBounty as one of its own. Its history dates back to 1989, when it first developed its genetically modified salmon. Within a few years was seeking regulatory approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to sell it, but that process dragged on for 20 years starting in 1995, when the FDA started its review. But in 2015, the agency granted approval for AquAdvantage Salmon. It was the first time the FDA had approved a genetically modified animal for human consumption. Health Canada approved the sale of the salmon shortly after, in 2016. Now, AquaBounty is poised to commercialize its product and expand its market share. “We’ve come through the R&D phase, we’ve been through the approval phase, and now we’re going to commercialization,” Dave Conley, AquaBounty’s spokesman, told SeafoodSource. “It’s been a long journey from 1989 to today, probably longer than anybody anticipated.”  Read the article.

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