This Note seeks to address the issues concerning the FDA’s approval of genetically modified salmon for consumption, arguing that the FDA did not properly vet AquAdvantage salmon, as well as relied on inappropriate criteria in their approval of its market use. Part I provides a brief history of AquAdvantage salmon’s introduction to U.S. markets and the legal actions taken in response to the FDA ruling. Part II discusses the statutes and regulations fundamentally relevant to GE products, as well as a critique of the way each regulation was used to approve AquAdvantage. Part III offers a comparison to the European Union’s methods of tackling GE regulation and details why the EU decided to ban AquAdvantage salmon. Part IV offers an analysis of the current issues surrounding the production of AquAdvantage salmon and explores the potential consequences following the FDA ruling. This Note concludes with a suggestion to parallel the U.S. regulatory system to the more succinct and rigorous process the European Union relies on to regulate GE animals, a system that operates under the precautionary principle. This Note will recommend that the FDA adhere to the crucial precautionary principle to ensure the effects of a new GE product, such as AquAdvantage, are safe for the environment before the effects of an unknown product cause irreversible damage.
Kara M. Van Slyck, Salmon with a Side of Genetic Modification: The FDA’s Approval of AquAdvantage Salmon and Why the Precautionary Principle is Essential for Biotechnology Regulation, 41 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 311 (2017).