FDA may okay genetically altered salmon
The Food and Drug Administration is poised to approve the first genetically modified animal for human consumption, a highly anticipated decision that is stirring controversy and could mark a turning point in the way American food is produced. FDA scientists gave a boost last week to AquaBounty, a Massachusetts company that wants federal approval to market a genetically engineered salmon, declaring that the altered salmon is safe to eat and does not pose a threat to the environment. "Food from AquAdvantage Salmon . . . is as safe to eat as food from other Atlantic salmon," FDA staff wrote in a briefing document. Those findings will be presented Sept. 19 to a panel of scientific experts that will advise top officials at the FDA on whether to approve the altered salmon. AquAdvantage is an Atlantic salmon that has been given a gene from the ocean pout, an eel-like fish, which allows the salmon to grow twice as fast as a traditional Atlantic salmon. It also contains a growth hormone from a Chinook salmon.
Imam of Islamic center back in U.S.
An imam who has become the public face of a proposed Islamic community center and mosque near ground zero has returned to the United States after a tour of the Middle East to promote religious tolerance. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf's wife, Daisy Khan, told the Associated Press on Monday that Rauf returned Sunday from a 15-day trip paid for by the Department of State. She says he plans to comment on the debate surrounding the planned $100 million Islamic center later this week. Opponents say the mosque should be moved farther from where Islamic extremists destroyed the World Trade Center and killed nearly 2,800 people. Supporters say religious freedom should be protected.
1,000 homes are evacuated in fire
Authorities said a wind-driven wildfire in the rugged Colorado foothills spread across 5 1/2 square miles, destroyed an unknown number of homes and triggered evacuations of 1,000 others. No injuries were reported. Laura McConnell, a spokeswoman for the fire management team, couldn't say how many structures have burned down, but she said at least some of them were houses. About 100 firefighters and three aerial tankers were on the scene.
LAKE CHARLES, La.
Police look for SUV after 4 are killed
Southwestern Louisiana authorities are investigating the killings of four people whose bodies were found in a mobile home. Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso said police are looking for a dark blue 2000 Ford Explorer that was often parked near the home where deputies found the bodies of two men and two women Monday. Mancuso said all four victims died of trauma, but did not elaborate.