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Genetically engineered salmon on your plate without your knowledge

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

Story at-a-glance -

  • AquaBounty, the company that created so-called “frankenfish,” plans to begin harvesting GE salmon in late 2020
  • When it arrives in supermarkets, it will be labeled “bioengineered,” not genetically engineered
  • The disclosure regulation for “bioengineered” foods may start to be implemented as early as 2019 for some products, but it doesn’t become mandatory until January 1, 2022
  • AquaBounty can release its GE salmon initially without even disclosing that it’s bioengineered — a term that will be confusing for many people who are looking instead for the more familiar GMO or GE label
  • The bioengineered disclosure can be electronic or digital in nature, such as in the form of a quick response, or QR, code that must be scanned with a cellphone to get the information
  • Restaurants, cafeterias and even salad bars that sell food within a retail establishment are exempt from the labeling standard and don’t have to disclose to consumers if they’re serving GE salmon

In a survey of 800 Americans, 89% said they were in favor of mandatory labels on foods that have been genetically engineered or contain genetically engineered ingredients. When asked whether they’d rather have genetically modified organism labels printed on food packages or in the form of a bar code that could be scanned with a smartphone, 88% said they preferred printed labels.

Yet, in a facility in Albany, Indiana, eggs intended to grow the first GE salmon for human consumption in the U.S. arrived in May 2019. AquaBounty, the company that created the so-called “frankenfish,” plans to begin harvesting the GE salmon in late 2020. When it arrives in supermarkets and restaurants, however, it may be hard to decipher whether the salmon you’re eating is GE or not.


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