Genetically Engineered Salmon – Does Mother Nature Approve?
For the first time in history, genetically engineered fish are likely to be approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (US – FDA www.fda.com ) for sale and consumption in the United States. Although genetically engineered plant products have been consumed world wide for years, the advent of genetically engineered fish and meat is generating renewed concern and debate about the safety and perpetuity of the general food chain.
The company at the center of this debate is Aqua Bounty Technologies. Aqua Bounty Technologies has created genetically engineered Salmon, Trout, and Tilapia. The first of these, an Atlantic Salmon clone, is under review by the FDA. Preliminary reviews by FDA officials suggest a bias toward approving this Frankenfish for consumption in the United States. Documents released by FDA staff said the altered salmon are “as safe to eat as food from other Atlantic salmon.” The agency said it found “no biologically relevant differences” in vitamins, minerals or fatty acids.
About Aqua Bounty Technologies
AquaBounty Technologies is a biotechnology company focused on improving productivity in commercial aquaculture, an $86 billion industry and the fastest growing segment of the worldwide food industry. Aqua Bounty strives to apply biotechnology to ensure the availability of high quality seafood to meet global consumer demand.
Aqua Bounty History
AquaBounty was originally incorporated in 1991, under the name A/F Protein, to pursue the commercial development of antifreeze protein-based technology under license from the University of California at Berkeley.
In 1996, A/F Protein acquired a license to the AquAdvantage® technology from the University of Toronto and Memorial University of Newfoundland, and was subsequently reorganized in 2000, as two separate entities: A/F Protein, which retained the antifreeze protein technology; and, AquaBounty Farms, which obtained the AquAdvantage® technology.
AquaBounty Farms, headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, changed its name in 2004, to AquaBounty Technologies. In 2006, AquaBounty Technologies was listed in the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) raising $28 million in an initial public offering.
For more details about Aqua Bounty Technologies, please refer to: http://www.aquabounty.com/.
Aqua Bounty strives to play a significant role in the “The Blue Revolution”. The Blue Revolution is the convergence of biological sciences and molecular technology, the purpose of which is to advance the aquaculture industry, enabling large-scale, efficient, and environmentally sustainable production of high quality seafood. According to Aqua Bounty, “increased growth rates, enhanced resistance to disease, better food-conversion rates, manageable breeding cycles, and more efficient use of aquatic production systems are all important components of sustainable aquaculture industry of the future.”
The approval and success of the genetically engineered salmon is vital to Aqua Bounty Technologies success. AquaBounty originally filed for U.S. approval of the salmon in 1995. In 2009, it saw a $4.8 million net loss after restructuring in 2008 to preserve cash and focus on completing FDA’s approval process. However, on the promise of the Salmon Frankenfish, Aqua Bounty stock rose as much as 75 percent on pre-FDA decision hype.