WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., Aug. 5 (UPI) -- A Purdue University scientist says U.S. officials must come to a decision on whether genetically engineered salmon should be allowed for U.S. consumption.
William Muir, a professor of animal sciences, argues that not settling the question, which has been tied up in U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulatory proceedings since 1995, may set back scientific efforts to increase food production.
Salmon genetically engineered by the Canadian company AquaBounty Technologies pose little real risk to the environment or human health, Muir said Friday in a Purdue release.
"We realize that any new technology can have risks and those risks need to be assessed in a thorough and convincing manner," Muir said. "However, once the assessment has been completed and the agency concludes from the weight of evidence that risks of harm, either to the environment or to consumers, (are) negligible, the next step, which is to allow production and sale of the product, needs to be taken."
Muir said inaction on the question of genetically modified foods creates a disincentive for those working to increase food supplies for a growing world population.
"This tells us that no entrepreneur is going to invest in these new projects because they can't get them approved," Muir said.