A Boston company is in the midst of gaining approval from the United States’ Food and Drug Administration to allow their genetically modified salmon to be approved for human consumption.

Aqua Bounty technologies are in the process of developing advanced hybrid salmon, trout and tilapia which are designed to grow faster than traditional fish. AquAdvantage salmon reach market size twice as fast as traditional salmon.

Ron Stotish, the CEO of Aqua Bounty told Morning Ireland’s radio program this morning about the genetically modified salmon.

“The only difference between this and the unmodified Atlantic salmon is that this fish grows more rapidly in its first year of life...it simple reaches the market weight in a shorter time.”

“There are no wild salmon commercial fisheries in the United States and in fact in 2000 the salmon was listed as an endangered species in Maine. All of the outside environmental experts that have reviewed this think that this is an environmentally safer alternative than the current production technology.”

Mt Stotish pointed out that the product has not yet been approved. “Currently technology like this is not viewed favorable in Europe; if that situation changes…we certainly would be interested in discussing this with the European governments,” he added.

However Irish salmon breeders have been quick to criticize the method of modified breeding. Richie Flynn from the Irish Salmon growers association said that they were not interested in Aqua Bountys’ new technology.

“We wouldn’t touch their technology with a ten foot pole,” he told Morning Ireland’s radio program.

“Aqua Bounty are a company involved in genetic modification, they are not salmon farmers. From our point of view in Ireland, Irish salmon producers are totally committed to producing what is a sustainable high quality fish for a very discerning market. Bringing this genetic issue into the equation is something that no company that I know of in the world is interested in,” he added.

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