GM salmon takes off

24 November 2015 | Research
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Prof Hew created the GM salmon in 1992 (Photo: The Straits Times ?? Singapore Press Holdings Limited)

The genetically modified (GM) salmon, a creation by Emeritus Professor Hew Choy Leong from NUS Biological Sciences and Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore, has received the nod of approval for human consumption from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is believed to be the first-ever such approval for an animal whose DNA has been scientifically modified. 

Created in 1992 by Prof Hew when he was the chief scientist at AquaBounty Technologies, a company based in the US, the GM salmon has been undergoing debates and discussions since Prof Hew applied to the FDA in 1995. The approval was only given by the FDA last week after lengthy and rigorous evaluations.  

The transgenic salmon can grow to a marketable size in about half the time compared to a conventional salmon, taking only 18 months to reach the market weight of 4 to 5 kg instead of three years. However, even with the recent approval, consumers would have to wait about two more years to be able to sample the fast-growing salmon.

See media coverage.