Verdict on genetically modified salmon pending

A final decision on genetically modified salmon raised on P.E.I. may only be weeks away.

A decision on the safety of genetically modified salmon raised on P.E.I. may only be weeks away.

Aqua Bounty Technologies has been waiting for a decision from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for 11 years.

The genetically modified salmon grow twice as fast as regular farmed salmon and is the first genetically modified food animal to be reviewed by the FDA.

The U.S. agency's veterinary medical advisory committee is expected to release its recommendations at a public meeting on Sept. 20 in Maryland.

The committee has been reviewing food safety and the potential environmental impact should genetically modified salmon escape and breed with wild Atlantic salmon.

The meeting is part of a call for transparency on how the company's product was reviewed, said Ronald Stotish, Aqua Bounty's president.

Recommendations not binding

"It's probably true that most people don't really know much about where their food comes from or how it's produced," Stotish said.

"So, the attempt here is to provide information to allow people to be aware that their interests are being safeguarded and that there is a thorough and effective review of any application."

The company has just started applying for a review by Health Canada to allow the product to be sold in this country.