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Begich to FDA: Leave Surprises to Santa this Season

Puts Agency on Notice about Frankenfish Approval

U.S. Senator Mark Begich put the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on notice that any changes to Frankenfish policy must be well-promoted and must include ample time for public debate – not obscured by a release during the holiday season.  In a letter to the FDA yesterday, Sen. Begich reminded the agency about last year’s unwelcome and untimely announcement.  

“On December 26 last year, the FDA released the draft Environmental Assessment and preliminary Finding of No Significant Impact regarding the AquaBounty proposal to sell genetically modified salmon,” said Sen. Begich.   “Release of this decision came as an unwelcome present in the midst of last year’s holiday season and at a time when Americans were more focused on their families than on anticipating such a major policy decision.  I wanted to put the FDA on notice that I would not welcome a similar announcement as a surprise during the upcoming holiday season.”

Recent news about Canada’s approval of the export of genetically-engineered (GE) salmon roe has renewed concerns that the FDA is poised to announce approval of GE salmon for human consumption.  In a letter sent to the FDA this week, Sen. Begich requested advance notice and a briefing on any such pending action by the FDA.  Sen. Begich also introduced legislation in the 113th Congress that seeks a more comprehensive environmental review of the AquaBounty proposal and requires labeling of GE products.

“Americans shouldn’t have to wonder if the seafood on their plate comes from the ocean or a test tube,” said Sen. Begich.

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