FDA Decision on Genetically Engineered Salmon a Win for Health and Environment, Says ITIF

November 19, 2015

WASHINGTON—The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) today released the following statement from Senior Fellow Val Giddings welcoming the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of genetically engineered salmon for human consumption:

We welcome the FDA’s well considered decision on this issue. It comes after many years of careful review taking account of an unprecedented amount of data—all of which has confirmed that genetically engineered salmon are no different than any other salmon when it comes to health and safety.

The innovative biotechnology involved in genetically engineering salmon promises to bring healthy and affordable food within reach for countless consumers with lower environmental impact than traditional ocean-farmed salmon. Because these salmon will be grown in tanks on land, it eliminates the potential spread of disease and parasites from farmed salmon to wild salmon stocks. Furthermore, should they be released into the wild, the genetically engineered salmon are sterile, so they can’t breed with wild salmon. Genetically engineered salmon are also more sustainable and have a lower carbon footprint because they can be grown closer to consumers, instead of being flown or trucked from thousands of miles away. These benefits will be further compounded as lower prices encourage people to substitute fish for meat, which will boost human health.

We are happy to see policymakers embracing the kind of innovation that is central to promoting human health and ecological sustainability.