"After decades of review and endless controversy, the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved the nation's first genetically altered animal -- a salmon genetically engineered to grow twice as fast as its natural counterpart.
AquAdvantage, produced by Massachusetts-based AquaBounty, is an Atlantic salmon that contains a growth hormone from a Chinook salmon and has been given a gene from the ocean pout, an eel-like fish. The result is a fish that is large enough for consumption in about a year and a half, rather than the typical three years.
Food-safety activists, environmental groups and the salmon fishing industry, not to mention lawmakers from Alaska, have long opposed the approval of the fish -- which they derisively refer to as "Frankenfish" -- and have argued that its existence could open the door to a broad range of potentially unsafe genetically modified animal foods. Knowing an FDA approval was likely, critics have in recent years won commitments from some of the nation's most recognizable chains — including Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Target — to not sell the fish."