salmon

Mandatory labeling for genetically engineered salmon sold in the U.S. took one step closer to becoming reality thanks to Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) who added it to the FY 2015 Agriculture Appropriations bill.

This is the second year the Senate Appropriations Committee has passed a GE fish labeling amendment.

While not yet approved for human consumption, Aqua Bounty’s AquAdvantage genetically engineered salmon is currently under review by the FDA and is expected to gain approval. It would be the first genetically engineered animal allowed into the food chain. The fish contains genes from other fish including the Chinook and ocean pout. It’s engineered to grow twice as big as traditional salmon in half the time.

“From the Vermont State House to the halls of the U.S. Senate, support for labeling and consumer choice is sweeping the country. While some Members of Congress are peddling corporate-backed legislation to keep consumers in the dark, today’s vote is an indicator that support for labeling is not slowing down,” Colin O’Neil, director of government affairs for Center for Food Safety said in a statement.

Already, scores of supermarket chains, including Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Safeway, Kroger and Target, have vowed not to sell the genetically engineered salmon if it receives FDA approval.

According to the Center for Food Safety, close to 2 million Americans have sent comments to the FDA in opposition to the approval of genetically engineered salmon, which is in the final stage of review for approval. “If approved, the FDA has signaled that it would not require labeling despite strong public demand,” CFS said in a statement. “Beyond the failure to label, FDA’s current proposed approval of the GE salmon is unlawful and dangerous, and should be rejected outright.”

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Image: JanneM