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FDA clears path for genetically modified salmon

An 18-month-old AquaBounty genetically engineered salmon behind a farmed Atlantic salmon of the same age. (From CBS News)
An 18-month-old AquaBounty genetically engineered salmon behind a farmed Atlantic salmon of the same age. (From CBS News)

NEW YORK (AP) - U.S. regulators are giving the green light to salmon genetically modified to grow about twice as fast as normal. But the fish may still face legal challenges before it can be sold domestically.

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday lifted an alert had that had prevented Massachusetts-based AquaBounty from importing its salmon eggs to its Indiana growing facility. The agency noted the salmon has already undergone its safety reviews, and that the fish will be required to be labeled as bioengineered.

The move comes despite a pending lawsuit by a coalition of consumer, environmental and fishing groups that challenged the FDA's past approval of the salmon.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski harshly criticized the FDA's decision Friday, calling it "wrong-headed and a bad idea, simple as that."

“I am not going to back down and will continue my fight to ensure that any salmon product that is genetically engineered be clearly labeled,” Murkowski said in a statement. “USDA’s new guidelines don’t require adequate mandatory labeling and don’t suffice as giving consumers clear information. Instead, they will only confuse people. I continue to have serious concerns about splicing DNA from two animals to produce a new marketable fish, essentially creating a new species. American consumers deserve to know what they [are] purchasing, and ultimately eating.”

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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