Norway carries risk assessment of rapeseed omega-3 oil

The study concludes that the refined oil Aquaterra® is equal to conventional oils from oilseed rape except for the altered composition in fatty acids.

March 28, 2023

On June 2022, Nufarm, on behalf of Nuseed, applied for the approval of Aquaterra® rapeseed oil for import and use in fish feed in Norway. The oil is produced from rapeseed that has been genetically modified so that it produces long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.

On behalf of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, the Science Committee for Food and Environment (Vitenskapskomiteen for mat og miljø, VKM) has carried out a risk assessment.

VKM has assessed possible negative health effects in fish given feed with Aquaterra® rapeseed oil. They have also assessed whether there could be unintended harmful environmental consequences when using fish feed with this rapeseed oil, and whether there is a need for a monitoring plan to uncover future unintended effects on health and the environment.

VKM concluded, based on the scientific documentation and literature search that:

  • Processed rapeseed oil with unique code NS-B50027-4 corresponds to conventional rapeseed oils, with the exception of the intentional changes in fatty acids.
  • Fish feed containing Aquaterra® oil does not pose an increased health risk for fish compared to conventional fish feed with oils from other sources.
  • There are no indications of an increased environmental risk when using Aquaterra® in fish feed compared to conventional fish feed with oils from other sources.
  • There is no greater need for health or environmental monitoring of feed containing Aquaterra® than for conventional fish feed.

“Nuseed is pleased with the conclusion of the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment. It confirms that our product, Aquaterra, is sustainable and safe,” said Benita Boettner, general manager at Nuseed. “Now that the Scientific Committee has recommended approving the application, it will be processed by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, which will give the final approval.”

“Aquaterra makes the industry far less dependent on fish oil and thus the industry can grow sustainably and, in addition, increase access to nutritious proteins produced in an efficient way,” Boettner concluded.