[10 June/Stuff NZ]

AquaBounty Technologies has announced that its genetically engineered salmon could be on store shelves in the United States by the end of next year. The fish produced by the company are modified with added genes from other fish to grow about twice as fast as conventional salmon, which makes the product highly-contested. AquaBounty’s salmon is the first genetically modified, or GMO, animal to be approved for human consumption. It has become a touchstone for the international debate about genetic engineering and food. The US Food and Drug Administration has signed off on the fish as safe to eat. The genetically modified salmon are also approved for sale in Canada. Genetically engineered salmon have faced numerous regulatory delays since a Canadian research team first developed them in the 1980s. Conley has said the goal of genetically modifying the fish is to “produce food more efficiently and more responsibly”. But consumers, fish farmers and retailers are slow to warm to the idea.