U.S. regulators on Friday gave the green light to salmon genetically modified to grow about twice as fast as normal, but the company behind it may face legal challenges before the fish can be sold domestically.
The Food and Drug Administration said it lifted an alert that had prevented AquaBounty from importing its salmon eggs to its Indiana facility, where they would be grown before being sold as food. The agency noted the salmon has already undergone safety reviews, and that it lifted its alert because the fish would be subject to a new regulation that will require companies to disclose when a food is bioengineered.
The move comes despite a pending lawsuit filed by a coalition of consumer, environmental and fishing groups that challenged the FDA’s approval of the fish.
“We think a remedy in our case would stop sale of the fish before they’re allowed to be sold,” said George Kimbrell, legal director for the Center for Food Safety, one of the groups suing the FDA.