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Jan 17, 2019

With new CEO, AquaBounty looks beyond US for markets, partner

SAN DIEGO, California, US -- Two weeks into her new job at what is as much of a tech company as it is a seafood company, AquaBounty Technologies' CEO Sylvia Wulf said that her role would focus on ramping up sales of a product that has faced steep barriers to consumer acceptance. The company's genetically engineered AquAdvantage salmon, an Atlantic salmon modified with snippets of genetic code from Chinook and the eel-like ocean pout to enable much faster growth, first received approvals from US and Canadian regulators in 2015 and 2016 stating that its fish is safe for consumers to eat. However, with opposition led by US senator Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has imposed an "import alert" that bans AquaBounty, which is majority-owned by biotech firm Interexon, from bringing its fish or eggs into the US until labeling guidelines are issued. Wulf told Undercurrent News that she believes the issuance of those guidelines is "imminent" but that the company is having discussions with potential partners outside of North America to bring AquAdvantage into other markets. “We’ve had conversations with potential Chinese partners; we’ve had conversations with potential partners in the Middle East. One of the things that is a priority for me is to be sure we frame what a great partnership will look like and where we need to prioritize and focus,” she said.  Read the article.

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