Aqua Bounty described opposition to biotechnology fish that was yesterday [Wednesday] voiced by several grocers, restaurants and celebrity chefs as unfair.

The company, which is developing genetically engineered salmon to grow twice as fast as fish-farm salmon, says protests are unfair due to the fact that Aqua Bounty has not yet finished carrying out environmental studies.

The FDA is currently considering the application to market the engineered Atlantic salmon, but a decision is not expected for two years.

Issued last month, a study commissioned by the FDA concluded that biotechnology fish would pose significant environmental issues if they were to be released into the wild where they might breed with native species. To eliminate this risk, Aqua Bounty will only engineer infertile female salmon.

The pledge to oppose any sale, purchase or use of genetically engineered fish was organised by three groups: Center for Food Safety, Clean Water Action and Friends of the Earth.

“Scientists and corporations are playing with genetics without knowing the consequences,” Eric Ripert, executive chef of New York restaurant Le Bernadin, told the Associated Press.

Aqua Bounty did not see the opposition as a major problem, saying “I see no serious seafood wholesalers on the list”.