The FDA just granted approval to a fast-growing genetically modified salmon species

genetically modfied salmon gains approval fda 9390772 l
In a move sure to bring the arguments over GMOs back to the forefront, the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday gave approval to a specific breed of genetically modified salmon — the first genetically modified animal to ever be approved by the agency. AquaBounty Technologies first submitted the concept for approval in 1995, however the FDA took the past two decades to deliberate the salmon’s safety and potential effects on the environment.

Officials said in a letter to AquaBounty president and CEO Ronald Stotish that it found no safety issues or negative environmental effects. Furthermore, the FDA has determined that the so-called “AquaAdvantage Salmon” is safe to eat, a statement sure to stoke the ire of anti-GMO activists. There are some conditions on the approval however, including a requirement that the GMO salmon must be kept in inland storage tanks.

So what exactly is an AquaAdvantage Salmon? According to the company’s website, it’s a genetic cross between Atlantic and Chinook breeds. The DNA of the fish is further modified to give it the capability to grow to full size in half the time it takes traditional Atlantic salmon to do so. AquaBounty further argues that its fish require a quarter less feed due to their shorter maturation period, and have less of a carbon footprint because the fish are raised in the US and have a shorter trip to market.

What may concern some is the lack of any requirement to label AquaBounty’s salmon as genetically modified. The FDA did not find any differences between traditional salmon and AquaBounty’s, so the company will not have to label it as such. “Because the data and information evaluated show that AquAdvantage Salmon is not materially different from other Atlantic salmon, the FDA has determined that no additional labeling of food from AquaAdvantage Salmon is required,” the FDA says on its website.

That isn’t enough for anti-GMO activists. Center for Food Safety director Andrew Kimbrell says that his group plans to file suit in order to block the approval.

“The review process by FDA was inadequate, failed to fully examine the likely impacts of the salmon’s introduction, and lacked a comprehensive analysis. This decision sets a dangerous precedent, lowering the standards of safety in this country,” he argues. Kimbrell further says the agency did not act in the best interests of the American public, and ignored research that called many of AquaBounty’s claims into question.

Emerging Tech

Only three people have explored the deep oceans. Meet the next two

In a new mission called Five Deeps, a team of explorers will brave the inhospitable depths of the world’s oceans, observing, mapping, and collecting samples along the way. The explorers aim to traverse 40,000 nautical miles over the…

Protect yourself from the latest malware with the best free antivirus software

Malware, spyware, and adware is never fun to find on your PC. Check out our picks for the best free antivirus software, so you can rid your system of any dangerous software that might be lurking around.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.
Emerging Tech

Scoot your commute! Here are the 9 best electric scooters on the market

Electric scooters are an affordable, convenient way to minimize your carbon footprint and zip around town. Check out 8 of our current favorites, whether you're working with a budget or have some cash to spare.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.

Has Columbus, Ohio raised its IQ yet? A progress report from the mayor

Two years ago, the city of Columbus in Ohio received $40 million to pursue smart city initiatives. So, what’s happened since then? We spoke with its mayor, Andrew Ginther, to discuss progress and what’s ahead.
Emerging Tech

Hear the sounds of wind on Mars from InSight’s latest audio recording

NASA's InSight craft has captured the sound of the wind blowing on the surface of Mars. The audio file was picked up by the air pressure sensor and the seismometer which detected vibrations from the 10 to 15 mph winds in the area.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

New experiment casts doubt on claims to have identified dark matter

A South Korean experiment called COSINE-100 has attempted to replicate the claims of dark matter observed by the Italian DAMA/LIBRA experiment, but has failed to replicate the observations.
Emerging Tech

White dwarf star unexpectedly emitting bright ‘supersoft’ X-rays

NASA's Chandra Observatory has discovered a white dwarf star which is emitting supersoft X-rays, calling into question the conventional wisdom about how X-rays are produced by dying stars.

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Emerging Tech

Full-fledged drone delivery service set to land in remote Canadian community

Some drone delivery operations seem rather crude in their execution, but Drone Delivery Canada is building a comprehensive platform that's aiming to take drone delivery to the next level.
Emerging Tech

It’s no flying car, but the e-scooter had a huge impact on city streets in 2018

Within just a year, electric scooters have fundamentally changed how we navigate cities. From San Francisco to Paris, commuters have a new option that’s more fun than mass transit, easier than a bike, and definitely not a car.