First GM salmon sold in Canada

August 9, 2017

According to Nature, AquaBounty Technologies announced on August 4 that it has sold approximately 4.5 tons of its genetically modified (GM) salmon to customers in Canada. The sale marks the first time that a GM animal has been sold for food on the open market, and the first sale for AquaBounty who spent the past 25 years developing the fish and gaining approvals.

The fish, a variety of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), is engineered to grow faster than its non-genetically modified counterpart, reaching market size in roughly half the time—about 18 months. AquaBounty sold its first commercial batch at market price: $5.30 per pound, to an undisclosed buyer.

AquaBounty raised the fish in tanks in a small facility in Panama. It plans to ramp up production by expanding a site on Canada’s Prince Edward Island, where local authorities gave the green light for construction in June. In the same month, the company also acquired a fish farm in Albany, Ind.; it awaits the okay from U.S. regulators to begin production there.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the salmon for consumption in November 2015, and Canadian authorities came to the same decision six months later. Neither country requires the salmon to be labeled as genetically engineered.

Nature article