Genetically modified (GM) salmon producer AquaBounty, which calls its product "the world's most sustainable salmon,"is now eyeing China, the fifth largest consumer of salmon worldwide.

AquaBounty's CEO Sylvia Wulf told IntraFish the company was recently approved for field trials by the Chinese government.

The company's AquAdvantage salmon, which grow faster than conventional salmon, is a much-needed product for China's massive population, with seafood consumption anticipated to rise in the future, Wulf said.

Chinese officials are working on approving GM salmon in the country much in the same way it was approved in the United States and Canada, she added.

"It's not going to take 20 years, but they need to see the field trials conducted in China," she said. Those trials are ongoing in the southern China in an area that is not on the coast, she said, without providing further detail.

Moving forward in the United States, too

AquaBounty is still in the process of narrowing down where it plans to locate a new US farming operation that would be similar to its land-based commercial production facility in Albany, Indiana.

Wulf said the company is looking specifically at North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia for locations that could supply mid-Atlantic US consumers.

The company is also eyeing North and South Dakota as well as Texas for future farm sites.

Wulf previously told IntraFish the company considers several factors for its land-based farm sites that include access to groundwater, proximity to major population centers, as well as where a farm could prove to be an economic benefit for a rural community.

Already available for sale in Canada, AquaBounty's GM salmon is set to hit US consumer's plates next summer.

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