More fuss over ‘Frankenfish’

Anti-super-salmon legislation

Dozens of environmental groups are backing two pieces of legislation that would outlaw genetically modified salmon or require it to be labeled “transgenic” if the Food & Drug Administration approves it, according to media reports.

The legislative action is the latest roadblock for AquaBounty Technologies, a Boston-based research company that has been trying to get the salmon approved for nearly two decades. The company discovered a quick-growth gene that causes salmon to reach their target weight in half the time, a procedure that involves injecting female Atlantic salmon eggs with genetic material from the Pacific Chinook salmon and a fish called the ocean pout.

More than 60 environmental groups, fishing associations, advocacy groups and retailers have backed the legislation, which was sponsored by reps from Alaska, where a resolution was introduced last month urging the FDA to deny any application to sell genetically modified fish. If the FDA approves the fish and they are not outlawed, activists will pursue labeling laws.