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Blog Posted in avatar   Molly Zelvonberger's Blog

GM strain of salmon might get the green light to be eaten by humans

By Molly Zelvonberger
Posted Aug 26, 2010 in Science
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a 60-day period of consultation and public meetings over whether to permit a GM strain of salmon to be eaten by humans, even though it has been called a "frankenfish" by critics.
The approval process could take less than a year, and if it gets the green light the fish could be on the market in 18 months according to the
Among the considerations by the FDA is whether, if the fish is approved for consumption, it must be labeled as genetically engineered.
The genetic modification involves taking a growth hormone gene from a chinook salmon and joining it with a control DNA sequence (called a promoter) from an ocean pout – an eel-like creature from a different family of marine organisms.
The growth hormone gene is almost identical to the equivalent gene in the North Atlantic salmon – the sequence differs by just 1% – but it operates differently because of the new control sequence. Unlike in North Atlantic salmon, which produced growth hormone only in the summer, ocean pout control sequence directs the gene to produce hormone all year round.
The genetic mash-up is then injected into the eggs of North Atlantic salmon. Here, it is taken up by the fish's genome and ultimately the DNA is present in cells throughout the body of the fish.
Because it is new ground for the FDA there are no regulations about genetically engineered animals and so it is being evaluated as if it were an animal treated with drugs.
Yes, like most of what we eat already. It's a shame I had to find this from outside the country.