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Scientists Say FDA’s Process For Assessing Transgenic Salmon Is Flawed

November 19, 2010: 10:10 AM EST

The review process used by the FDA to determine the safety of a faster-growing transgenic salmon does not take into account all of the consequences of the fish's widespread production, U.S. scientists say. If the agency approves the modified salmon, whose genome contains genes from two other fish species, it would be the first genetically modified organism accepted for human consumption in the U.S. But the scientists argue that the process used by the FDA assesses its safety only by comparing its nutritional profile to an equivalent portion of nonmodified salmon, and screening it for known toxins and allergens. That ignores potential health and environmental effects. A smarter approach would be for the FDA or even the Congress to broaden the interpretation of the terms "safe" and "health" in FDA statutes.

Martin D. Smith, et al., "Genetically Modified Salmon and Full Impact Assessment", Science, November 19, 2010, © AAAS
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