GE Salmon is Coming

AquaBounty, the purveyor of the genetically engineered (GE) salmon, said the fish could reach store shelves by April of 2021. Action Alert!

In a recent online press conference, a chief executive for AquaBounty said that its genetically engineered salmon would be on sale to the US public in April, adding that seven out of ten consumers might buy GE salmon, presumably once they learned more about it. This underscores the necessity of passing into law legislation that mandates the labeling of these fish telling us that they are GE.

The GE AquAdvantage salmon is a descendant of the Atlantic salmon; the Atlantic salmon’s growth hormone-regulating gene has been replaced with the Pacific Chinook salmon’s gene, with an additional sequence from ocean pout. This genetic change enables the AquAdvantage salmon to grow year-round rather than just in the spring and the summer.

Note that, due to the sham GE food labeling law that Congress passed, the GE salmon would not be required to have clear labeling that it was genetically altered.

The sale and production of GE salmon makes the issue of transgenic contamination—when GE species contaminate non-GE plants or animals—even worse. This has already cost farmers millions of dollars over the years when organic crops are contaminated by GE crops. We recently reported on a case in which the court ruled that the FDA violated environmental laws in approving genetically engineered (GE) salmon.

The court’s ruling, however, does not seem to substantially threaten AquaBounty’s plans to sell the salmon. The company’s chief executive said after the ruling, “This case did not call into question FDA’s approval regarding the health and safety of our AquAdvantage salmon. The focus of this decision was on the potential environmental impacts, and the judge confirmed the ‘low’ threat to the environment of our salmon,” and that the “decision will not have an impact on our on-going operations.”

Major retailers (Safeway, Target, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods, to name just a few) pledged years ago not to carry the GE salmon. We will see if that pledge holds when the rubber meets the road.

There are a number of bills in Congress that would require clear labeling of genetically engineered salmon, among other things:

  • HR 270 requires any genetically modified salmon to include the words “genetically engineered” or “GE” prior to the market name.
  • HR 271 requires any food that contains genetically engineered fish to bear a label stating that the food contains genetically engineered fish.
  • HR 273 prohibits a person from shipping, transporting, offering for sale, selling, or purchasing a genetically altered finfish (e.g., salmon), or a food product containing those fish, in commerce, among other provisions.

Cronyism is at the center of this: Congress, in passing the sham labeling bill completely caved to Big Food, which has a vested interest in keeping Americans in the dark about the contents of food. We must ensure that GE salmon is properly labeled.

Action Alert! Write to Congress and urge them to pass these bills to label GE fish. Please send your message immediately. 


  1. In light of HR 271, how can GE salmon be sold ????in stores????to the public????

  2. In light of HR 273, how can GE salmon be sold????in stores????to the public????

  3. It is imperative that this engineered product at the very least be well labeled as such… and does not come in contact with true wild salmon runs and open waters that would devastate a key component in the health and lifeblood of our planet.

  4. The food we put in our mouths should surely be each individual’s own choice. This is the simple right of any living being, let alone a human one.
    Can anyone, in all honesty, and with any fraction of a conscience, say that our right to know what that food is, how it grew, was ‘grown’ or, sadly, ‘manufactured and manipulated’ and where, and what it consists of as well as any additives–is not an inalienable right?
    What gives some humans the idea that some humans should have the right to determine what others eat, by keeping information about food items hidden from them–for the sake of their own personal profit?
    Is this not an act that should be forbidden by law? Seriously?
    LABEL our FOOD. It’s unconscionable not to. We have the RIGHT to know WHICH is GMO fish–and the right NOT to eat it.

  5. If Nature wanted them modified, Nature would have done it. Man should keep his hands off!

  6. If they are going to put something into the fish, we have a right to know about it and make our own decisions whether or not to consume it!

  7. All global citizens have the right to know what’s in their food (GMO, GE, processed) before it is purchased. We base our decisions on knowledge then make informed choices as a result. Simple.
    Label the food that has been altered!

  8. Please take action to pass the following bills….HR 270, HR 271 and HR 273. We, as consumers, have a right to know about the foods we purchase and eat are genetically engineered.

  9. This outrageous GMO change in Salmon biology will arrive to consumers, like myself, in One Months Time unless these NEEDED Laws REQUIRING LABELING are passed!

  10. Good Morning,
    I am a Registered Dietitian and this rattles me. The fact that people are not being told what is in their food or that it’s been genetically altered with is absurd! I have to work with people on a daily basis about toxins and foods and how to better their overall quality of life. Genetically engineered food is not natural. It is altered and definitely messes with our gut biome in ways we do not yet understand. However, the rise in obesity, ADD, ADHD, Auto-Immune and gut issues should show you that something has to change! Allowing people to know what is in their food to make the best decision for themselves is what is needed. I care about the health of the future of our people, not about money that this Genetically Engineered Food is going to bring into my pockets.

  11. Stop the GMO’s in our food supply. We want clean food without added chemicals, GMO’s , etc. The European countries do not allow these in their food supply…aspartame GMO’s, high-fructose corn syrup, etc. The United States needs to follow suit!

  12. Very much needed to be labeled GE. Been watching on History channel The Food That Made America. Should be titled The Food that Poisoned America. It is all about the dollar. Sure would be nice to have our officials interested in promoting health.

  13. What’s all the fuss about? AquaFresh salmon will help meet the food needs of a growing population. It is perfectly safe–passed by the FDA. Without GEs, a world of 8 billion cannot be fed.

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