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Anti-Frankenfish Measure Advances in Alaska House

Effort to Protect Wild Alaska Salmon Moves Forward

JUNEAU - Today, the House Fisheries Committee approved House Joint Resolution 5, a resolution sponsored by Representatives Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) and Scott Kawasaki opposing the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the sale of genetically modified (GM) salmon in the United States. This would be the first time the FDA approves a GM organism for human consumption. 

“It’s important that Alaskans have a unified voice on this issue. We need to tell the FDA that we do not support Frankenfish,” said Tarr. “Genetically modified salmon, dubbed “Frankenfish”, threaten our Alaskan wild salmon, and there are concerns about risks to human health and our state economy.”

HJR 5 enjoys bi-partisan support and is co-sponsored by ten other legislators.  The Governor and Alaska’s Congressional Delegation have also weighed in to oppose FDA approval.  This action brings the 28th Alaska State Legislature one step closer to joining the Alaska Congressional Delegation and the governor in standing with Alaska’s fishermen against “Frankenfish.”

The fishing industry in Alaska is the second largest private sector employer, providing some 70,000 jobs annually and millions of dollars to the state treasury.  In addition, as reported by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Alaska Seafood remains the second most commonly specified brand on U.S. menus.

“I am excited about the movement of this resolution, and the widespread support amongst state and congressional leadership and the fishing industry to protect Alaska’s wild salmon,” said Representative Kawasaki. “This is one of the single most important issues facing Alaska’s vitality today and it’s important that we stand in strong opposition to this threat to our state.”

Members of the fishing industry, including Julianne Curry, representing the United Fisherman’s Association, and Jerry McCune of Cordova District Fisherman United, testified in support of the measure. Rep. Tarr has also received letters of support from a number of seafood processors, other fishing industry organizations, private business owners, and individual Alaskans.

The deadline to submit a comment to the FDA is February 25, 2013. Comments can be sent to: http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FDA-2011-N-0899-0001

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