The FDA in Canada have approved the first ever genetically modified salmon for sale in supermarkets, according to the Guardian.
It has only been recently approved, and it has been reported that consumers may not know what they are purchasing. It has also been reported that approximately 5 tonnes of the fish has been sold throughout the country since its approval.
The salmon, produced by AquaBounty in the US, is a hybrid of Atlantic Salmon with genes belonging to the Chinook Salmon as well as the ocean pout.
This is the first genetically food, outside of crops, to be approved for sale, and has led to some unrest among the population. The salmon was originally developed in a bid to try and grow stock at a faster rate, which it does in almost a year less. It also means the company have to provide up to 75% less feed than they would with unmodified stocks.
The company says this has led to them decreasing their carbon footprint by up to 25 times. The fish is for sale at $5.30 per pound and demand is said to be increasing. The company has landed themselves in hot water over the salmon, as they did not label the fact it was modified on packets. This has led to campaigns for the mandatory labelling of genetically modified products in future.
As a result of the recent controversy two leading Canadian supermarket chains have decided to not stock the product on their shelves. IGA Quebec and CostCo were the two to make the decision. The salmon was tested for four years by Canadian officials, who say it is as safe and holds as much nutritional value as a normal salmon. This, they say, means that there is no need for the salmon to be specially labelled.
Environmentalist have also made calls for the cessation of the selling and producing of these fish, as they feel it could affect wild Atlantic salmon numbers. The company say the modified fish is in fact sterile and being raised in landlocked tanks.