In a landmark decision more than two decades in the making, the US Food and Drug Administration announced its approval of a genetically modified Atlantic Salmon variant on Thursday. The AquAdvantage salmon, which was initially developed back in 1989 and submitted for approval in 1995, grows far faster than its conventionally bred brethren. The FDA has deemed it safe for human consumption, equally nutritious as other salmon varieties and not dangerous to the environment. And since the GMO salmon is considered nutritionally equivalent to regular salmon supermarkets will be able to carry the fish without having to label them being GMO.
The fear of genetically-modified creatures escaping from the lab is the basis for a thousand sci-fi stories, but it’s also a legitimate concern. That’s why genetic engineers are inventing kill switches, or genetically-encoded suicide triggers, for GMOs they want to keep contained. Here’s how they work.
Everyone from Chipotle to the Food Babe rails against genetically modified ingredients, and laws to label GMO foods are making progress in some states. But the laser focus on GMOs is misguided, because most of the concerns people raise about them aren’t really about GMOs.
For years, a small Canadian company, Okanagan Specialty Fruits, has been touting its Arctic apple, which doesn’t turn an unsightly brown after being sliced. The U.S. Department of Agriculture finally approved it for planting this week. But before you see any Arctic apples at the grocery store, get ready for a big round of GMO controversy.
Many people have strong opinions about genetically modified plants, also known as genetically modified organisms or GMOs. But sometimes there’s confusion around what it means to be a GMO. It also may be much more sensible to judge a plant by its specific traits rather than the way it was produced – GMO or not.