By Laura Canter
Food and Drink Digital
Restaurateurs have reservations over serving the modified fish
Producers of genetically modified salmon might have difficulty finding acceptance in restaurants even if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration deems the fish fit for human consumption.
The FDA said a 60-day consultation period will begin Sept. 19 and include a series of public meetings as the agency decides whether to allow the fish to be sold as food. If it wins approval, the fish should be available by 2012.
The salmon was developed by AquaBounty Technologies Inc. of Waltham, Mass., and involved adding genetic material from King salmon to Atlantic salmon, allowing the fish to reach maturity in half the time it takes for typical farm-raised Atlantic salmon. Most farm-raised salmon is Atlantic salmon.
Company material states that the fish is designed to be raised in contained, land-based facilities and that the fish are all sterile females, meaning that even if they escaped from their facilities they would not be able to cross-breed.
However, many restaurant chefs said they would not serve the fish.
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