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Is the Company Behind GMO Salmon the Next Solyndra?

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, Politics and Democracy page, Food Safety Resource page, and our Fish & Sustainability page.


Is the company making genetically modified salmon about to become the next Solyndra? According to the U.K.'s Guardian, it's very possible. In the wake of the USDA's announcement of a $500,000 grant to AquaBounty, the developer of Atlantic salmon that have been modified to grow faster on less feed, advocates at the Center for Food Safety, a consumer group opposed to FDA approval, dug deeper into the company's latest financial statement.

Grist noted late last month that the company had a net loss of $2.8 million. Now it's also clear that the company faces a fairly serious cash crunch. After spending 16 years and $67 million developing the fish, AquaBounty may run out of money by the middle of next year.

It's true that the FDA may be only weeks away from announcing its approval, but the salmon (which has been branded with the name AquAdvantage) has a long way to go until it gets out of the lab. After all, the system for growing the fish is complex, land-based, and intentionally avoids U.S. sites for operations (the fish eggs will supposedly be grown in Canada and the fish themselves in Panama -- but the Guardian reports neither country has given approval).

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