As the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) debates whether genetically modified (GM) Atlantic salmon should be distributed for human consumption, many media outlets and public health organizations are questioning how the altered seafood would be labeled.
Some say the government should require the fish’s origins to be written out on product labels while AquaBounty, the modified salmon’s developer, said such labeling would incite unnecessary fear among consumers. The company maintains GM salmon has no scientific difference than unaltered seafood. “Food labeling is intended to provide information on product composition and safety,” the company said in a statement. Because fish developed from AquaBounty’s AquAdvantage eggs is “nutritionally and biologically the same as any other Atlantic salmon the consumer purchases, there is no reason for it to be labeled as different.”
However, the Center for Food Safety argues public opposition should sway the FDA’s decision and said more than 300 environmental, health and animal groups, fishing associations, food companies, restaurateurs and chefs have signed joint letters to the FDA asking that the GM salmon stay off food shelves.