Canadians already eating genetically-modified salmon

AquaBounty's salmon is the 1st genetically-modified animal approved as food in Canada

AquaBounty salmon filet

AquaBounty says once its genetically-modified salmon is harvested it cannot be distinguished from regular salmon. (AquaBounty)


A U.S.-based company that produces genetically-modified salmon has sold about five tonnes of the fish as food in Canada since it was approved last year.

AquaBounty made the announcement in its second quarter report, released on Friday.

The company's GM salmon was approved by Health Canada for sale as food in May 2016. The salmon is engineered to grow at twice the rate of regular salmon. There is no requirement for the fish to be labelled as genetically-modified.

It is the first genetically-modified animal approved for sale as food in Canada.

GMO salmon versus regular salmon

AquaBounty's salmon are engineered to grow at twice the rate of regular salmon. (AquaBounty)

The House of Commons rejected a private members bill for genetically-modified food to be labelled last year, but the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network continues to call for labelling regulations.

"No one except AquaBounty knows where the GM salmon are," said group spokeswoman Lucy Sharratt in a news release.

"The company did not disclose where the GM salmon fillets were sold or for what purpose, and we're shocked to discover that they've entered the market at this time."

Production could come to Canada

AquaBounty has previously stated its salmon fillets are indistinguishable from those cut from regular salmon.

It's not clear where the salmon was grown to market size.

The company has a facility capable of growing out fish in Panama.

Aquabounty also has provincial approval to grow fish to market size in an existing facility in Bay Fortune, P.E.I. However that plant still requires federal approval.

AquaBounty has not returned calls from CBC News regarding this story.

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