July 12, 2010
WASHINGTON â€” They may not be the 500-pound “Frankenfish” that some researchers were talking about 10 years ago, but a Massachusetts company says it’s on the verge of receiving federal approval to market a quick-growing Atlantic salmon that’s been genetically modified with help from a Pacific Chinook salmon.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Though genetically engineered crops such as corn and soybeans have been part of the American diet for several years, if the Food and Drug Administration approves it, the salmon would be the first transgenic animal headed for the dinner table.
“I would serve it to my kids,” said Val Giddings, who worked as a geneticist at the U.S. Agriculture Department for a decade before becoming a private consultant.
Farmed salmon are raised in net pens in coastal waters along Washington state, Maine and British Columbia. Most commonly, the fish being raised are Atlantic salmon, and the fear is they’ll escape and compete with endangered native stocks. By some estimates, between 400,000 and 1 million Atlantic salmon have escaped into the wild from the 75 or so net-pen operations in British Columbia.