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AquaBounty One Step Closer To Selling GMO Salmon; Fish To Be Harvested Later This Year

By Samantha Horton, IPB News | Published on in Business, Local News, Technology
AquaBounty Technologies employee feeds Atlantic salmon at Indiana facility in 2019. (FILE PHOTO: Samantha Horton/IPB News)
AquaBounty Technologies employee feeds Atlantic salmon at Indiana facility in 2019. (FILE PHOTO: Samantha Horton/IPB News)

A rural Indiana fish farm is one step closer to getting genetically engineered salmon to store shelves. The company is harvesting its first batch of Atlantic salmon helping prepare for its inaugural GMO fish production later this year.

AquaBounty Technologies’s land-based facility in Albany, Indiana, began producing non-GMO Atlantic salmon while waiting for federal permission to import the genetically engineered eggs into the country.

The company imported the GMO salmon eggs to the facility last year, while continuing to grow the conventional fish in separate tanks.

AquaBounty CEO Sylvia Wulf said the Atlantic salmon harvest is helping the company prepare for GMO fish production.

“So those fish are coming to market and what that allows us to do is make sure that we’ve got our supply chains, our processing all in place in advance of harvesting AquAdvantage later on this year,” said Wulf.

She said there’s demand for the salmon produced out of Indiana at a time when COVID-19 has caused a strain in food supply chains.

And after doing market research, Wulf feels confident the GMO salmon will sell.

“What we found is the majority of American consumers are open to GMO,” said Wulf. “And what they want to understand is, ‘Why you did what you did’ and what’s the benefits of that. But they are confident in safety, they’re willing to try.”

The GMO salmon will be the first genetically modified animal to go to market for human consumption in the U.S.

Contact reporter Samantha at shorton@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @SamHorton5.