Salmon genetically engineered to grow bigger and faster than normal were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the agency announced November 19.
The fish are the first genetically engineered animals cleared for human consumption anywhere in the world. The FDA determined that the fish are nutritious and safe to eat, pose no substantial environmental threat, and that the fast growth rate doesn’t harm the salmon.
AquaBounty Technologies, based in Maynard, Mass., will be allowed to farm the salmon only at two inland facilities in Canada and Panama. The company may voluntarily label its salmon as genetically engineered, but the FDA’s draft guidelines don’t require any labeling.
Some grocery store chains have pledged not to sell the genetically modified fish.