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Genetically modified salmon approved for consumption in Canada

A genetically engineered salmon has been approved for sale for consumption by humans and livestock feed by Canadian food regulators.

Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said today they completed a scientific review of AquAdvantage’s salmon in the final regulatory hurdle for the farmed fish.

The salmon was developed by AquaBounty Technologies Inc. to promote rapid growth during early life, using a growth hormone gene from the Chinook salmon in an Atlantic salmon.

It’s the first genetically modified animal to be available on Canadian grocery shelves.

The regulators say in a news release that genetically modified foods are becoming more common every day and are a regular part of Canadians diets.

But that’s raising red flags with some.

Karen Wristen is the executive director of Living Oceans, an environmental organization.

She says her group is concerned over the lack of transparency in the approval process, as well as the lack of labelling information for customers.

Wristen says they’re currently in court, appealing Health Canada and Environment Canada’s decision to approve AquAdvantage’s PEI facility.

Chief Bob Chamberlin of the Wild Salmon Alliance says the focus should be on protecting wild salmon stocks from harm.

The salmon has already been approved for use by the United States Food and Drug Administration following that agency’s review last year.

AquAdvantage’s facility is in the eastern Prince Edward Island community of Bay Fortune.

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