The USFDA Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee has released its Briefing Packet for the September 20 meeting to review the possible approval of Genetically Engineered (GE) AquaAdvantage Atlantic Salmon for use as human food.

The general media will, of course, greatly overstate the strength of the potentially favorable position taken by the Committee. However, this is a generally favorable opinion on what may become the first center-of-the-plate protein to be approved for marketing as human food.

We remain most interested in the eventual position of USFDA on food labeling issues regarding AquAdvantage and believe that today’s published position is consistent with USFDA’s position on labeling of GE Foods as articulated in Center for Bio-Integrity v. Shalala.

We quote page 109 of the Briefing Packet below:

Conclusions for Food Safety

ABT salmon meets the standard of identity for Atlantic salmon as established by FDA’s Reference Fish Encyclopedia. All other assessments of composition have determined that there are no material differences in food from ABT salmon and other Atlantic salmon.

We conclude that food from the triploid ABT Salmon that is the subject of this application is as safe as food from conventional salmon, and that there is a reasonable certainty of no harm from consumption of food from triploid ABT salmon. No animal feed consumption concerns were identified.

Although we have found no food consumption hazards for diploid ABT salmon, due to uncertainties regarding the allergenicity of the tested tissue in a study of low quality, we recommend that if ABT wishes to introduce diploid ABT salmon into the food supply that they perform another study on the allergenicity of the diploid fish and submit it for evaluation as a supplement to this application.

The entire Briefing Packet is attached below.