GM salmon farmer receives exemption for gene-edited tilapia in Argentina

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Company that produces genetically engineered Atlantic salmon moves onto other species.

Authorities in Argentina have granted a regulatory exemption to GM salmon farmer AquaBounty, and its parent company the biotech firm Intrexon, to develop gene-edited tilapia.

The engineered tilapia – FLT 01- were developed using gene-editing techniques and do not contain any foreign DNA or a new combination of genetic material that would warrant their regulation as genetically modified in Argentina,” the company said in a press release.

The fish are now exempt from genetic modification because of a ruling from the country’s National Advisory Commission on Agricultural Biotechnology.

The company said that FLT 01 is believed to be one of the first gene-edited food animals to receive a regulatory exemption due to its designation as a non-GMO.

Tilapia is the fourth most consumed seafood after shrimp, salmon and canned tuna and is forecasted to be one of the highest growth production segments in aquaculture.

“AquaBounty is committed to advancing novel technologies into the marketplace to improve sustainability in aquaculture and through our productive collaboration with Intrexon have been able to make significant progress toward this goal,” said Ronald Stotish, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of AquaBounty. “We look forward to continuing our work with the Intrexon team and realizing the potential of biological engineering approaches to enhancing aquaculture productivity.”