The first genetically engineered food animal, the North Atlantic salmon developed by AquaBounty Technologies Inc. has given rise to a debate.
Voting is to be carried out by the FDA advisory committee as to decide if the modified salmon is as safe as an ordinary salmon. Protection of the nation's food and drug supplies now depends on the vote, which is though not binding on the FDA but for sure this voting will lend a very effective support of the decision which is to be finally made.
This new type of salmon is said to consume 25% less feed in the process and also grows to market size in half the time of other fishes. If, however, the approval for the fish is granted, there will also be a separate hearing.
The FDA only has the right to make the label mentioning the content variation as compulsory but it does not have a say when it comes to labeling that describes how a food was made.
There is, however, a probability that there will be a huge discussion on this as genetic engineering is one such issue, which tends to raise ethical and medical as well as marketing concerns.
"We don't know whether they really are safe”, said Jaydee Hanson, a policy analyst at the Center for Food Safety, a non-profit organization with offices in Washington, D. C. and San Francisco.