Resources on GE Salmon and Northwest Native Resistance

The FDA approved AquaAdvantage genetically-engineered salmon for consumption November 2015.



More on Lawsuit Against FDA:



From Friends of the Earth:

From PCC Natural Markets:


Other Resources:



Risks to the environment and other fish:

  • Genetically engineered fish pose serious risks to wild populations of fish and our marine environment. (1)
  • Each year millions of farmed salmon escape from open-water net pens — outcompeting wild populations for resources and straining ecosystems. (1)
  • Escaped GE salmon can also lead to genetic pollution and a decline in population levels. (1)
  • Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences notes that a release 1.of just 60 GE fish into a wild population of 60,000 would lead to the extinction of the wild population in less than 40 fish generations. (1)
  • Once the production of GE fish becomes commercialized, it will be impossible to control the whereabouts of every individual fish and assure compliance with appropriate containment measures. (1)
  • Even if escaped fish are sterile they may still cause serious harm to the environment and wild fish populations. The Canadian Department of Fisheries conducted research on Coho salmon with an engineered growth hormone similar to the AquAdvantage Salmon and found that genetically engineered salmon were more aggressive when searching for food (the growth hormone made them hungrier), and in some instances resorted to cannibalism. The aggressive behavior evident in genetically engineered Coho salmon led to population crashes and even the complete extinction of some wild salmon species in the study. (2)
  • AquaBounty says it will raise its GE fish only in land-based facilities and market the eggs, not the fish. AquaBounty also claims it will produce only sterile females. But fish are known to change sex and the company’s own documents show 5 percent of its GE fish could be fertile and could reproduce. (3)


Impacts on human health:

  • Data on human health impacts of GE fish is sparse, but some recent studies provide cause for serious concern. For example, the routine use of antibiotics to control diseases often found in farm-raised fish may already be impacting human health. (1)
  • GE salmon will offer fewer omega 3s — the essential fatty acid that supports brain health, helps manage inflammation, and is found in very few foods. (4)
  • GE salmon contain higher levels of the growth hormone IGF-1, a known carcinogen. (4)
  • The FDA is moving forward with approval based on tests with only six GE fish for allergenicity. According to Michael Hansen, Ph.D., senior scientist at Consumers Union (CU), even this limited testing showed an increase in allergy-causing potential. (3)


Transparency in risk assessment:

  • Just one study on one fish disease was done on the AquAdvantage salmon. That study found that the AquAdvantage salmon got sick faster than control salmon. (1)
  • According to the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans risk assessment, the GE salmon showed diminished growth rates in AquaBounty’s commercial facilities, raising questions about the company’s claims that the GMO salmon would have more accelerated growth rates. (2)
  • In 2009, AquaBounty’s egg production facility on Prince Edward Island was infected with Infectious Salmon Anemia, which it failed to report to the FDA. ISA is an extremely deadly salmon virus that decimated the Chilean and Scottish salmon farming industries. If ISA or other diseases were to break out at genetically engineered fish farms and then those fish escaped, they could wreak havoc on wild populations. (2)
  • The information on Salmon Anaemia was not included in FDA’s review. (3)
  • “The FDA has said it didn’t consider any kind of economic impacts when reviewing this fish,” says Colin O’Neil at the Center for Food Safety. (3)


  2. Issue_brief_Genetically_engineered_fish.pdf (