AquaBounty’s genetically modified salmon grows twice as fast as the conventional variety — the photo shows two same-age salmon with the genetically altered one in the rear. The company says the fish has the same flavor, texture, color and odor as a regular salmon; however, the debate continues over whether the fish is safe to eat.
Genetically engineered Atlantic salmon has an added growth hormone from a Chinook salmon that allows the fish to produce growth hormone year-round. Scientists were able to keep the hormone active by using a gene from an eel-like fish called an ocean pout, which acts as an “on switch” for the hormone.
If the FDA approves the sale of the salmon, it will be the first time the government has allowed modified animals to be marketed for human consumption. According to federal guidelines, the fish would not have to be labeled as genetically modified.