What is in this article?:
- U.S. set to approve first genetically-engineered animal
- Other GE animals?
- Feed, farms and the approval process
- While genetically-engineered (GE) crops are nothing new to U.S. dining tables, GE animals are a different matter. In the case of GE salmon, at least, it appears that is about to change.
Feed, farms and the approval process
On using different feeds…
“Particularly in the soybean industry there’s been a lot of progress in the last five years.
“A lot of aquaculture detractors complain about fish meal and fish oil that has to go into diets. Well, there have been dramatic reductions based on nutritional advances made in the feed industry using alternative feedstuffs.
“Again, that’s good for the United States because those are all feed crops we produce very efficiently.”
Have you actually raised these fish in a typical farm setting yet?
“Yes, with physical containment. It’s very similar to the way we raise trout – in ponds or raceways. Those kinds of systems can be adapted fairly readily to containment to account for your fish.
“Yes, we’ve raised (the GE salmon) there. Yes, they taste good, they grow fast and they’re fairly efficient.
“One of the reasons we have the Panama farm is we had to demonstrate to the FDA that these (GE salmon) would do exactly what we said they would (under) all FDA requirements for approval.”
On where the government approval process is…
“There was a public meeting in September of 2010 where the results of our (environmental assessment) and FDA conclusions were published. The FDA decided our application was approvable, that our fish was equivalent to traditional food, that it is safe for the animal, the consumer and the environment.
“We fulfilled our requirements and nothing has happened (since). We’re very interested in this moving forward and have been concerned that it hasn’t.”
Anything critics are saying that you want to kick back against?
“Our data is public and has been released by the FDA. All the information supporting our application is out there. Independent scientists have reviewed it and said this is a technology that adds value and can, potentially, help address problems we face.
“The people that don’t like us also don’t like GM crops, don’t like ag technology, don’t like a lot of things. They oppose us without offering alternative solutions.
“If you’re really concerned about this, look into the facts. A lot of stuff being said about (GE salmon) simply isn’t true. Public information is available to show it isn’t true. You don’t have to trust us – find out for yourself.
“We’ve gone the high road, here. We’ve been transparent and disclosed all our information. We’ve been subject to a lot of untrue, unfair attacks by people who oppose us simply because they don’t agree with us. That’s fundamentally wrong.”
“Bottom line, this is a product that’s timely and meets a need. And, frankly, it’s good for America.”