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Food Safety News 9 June 2021

Thomas Gremillion

Recently, I did something I had not done in a long time. I ate in a restaurant with my family. Actually, we ate on the outdoor patio, since my kids are too young to be vaccinated and we are somewhat more squeamish than average about COVID, but it was nevertheless a refreshing return to normality and a welcome rest from battling traffic on the way to the Delaware seashore. 

I ordered a salad with blackened salmon. If we make the trip again, I will make a different choice. 

That’s because last week, biotech company AquaBounty Technologies Inc. announced that it is harvesting several tons of genetically modified salmon, which will soon be sold at restaurants and other “away-from-home” dining retailers around the country. So far just one distributor — Philadelphia-based Samuels and Son Seafood—has reportedly said that it will be selling the novel salmon. But AquaBounty has announced plans to sell its salmon via “food service channels” across the Midwest and East Coast.  

By selling to restaurants and cafeterias, rather than retailers, AquaBounty can avoid the federal GMO labeling law. And this sets a troubling precedent. Consumers who do not want to eat GMO fish will have to avoid salmon altogether when dining out.  

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