Murkowski Introduces Updated Legislation to Require Labeling of GE Salmon
Continues fight against 'Frankenfish'
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) continued her fight against “Frankenfish” by introducing legislation to mandate labeling of genetically engineered (GE) salmon on March 3. The Genetically Engineered Salmon Labeling Act, co-sponsored by Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), changes the acceptable market name for any salmon that is genetically engineered to include the words “genetically engineered” or “GE.” The bill also requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to ensure a third-party scientific review of the FDA’s environmental assessment of AquaAdvantage salmon, focusing in particular on the effects that GE salmon could have upon wild stocks and ecosystems. Congressman Don Young (R-AK) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
“We have had success in in the fight against Frankenfish, but I won’t let up until it is mandatory to make clear to consumers whether they are purchasing Frankenfish or the wild, healthy, sustainably-caught, delicious real thing,” said Murkowski. “I still adamantly oppose the FDA’s approval of GE salmon, for the health of both consumers and fisheries. But at least with this legislation, Alaskans and consumers across the rest of the country won’t be deceived and will be aware of what it is they are seeing on store shelves.”
- November 2015: In response to the FDA’s decision to approve GE salmon for human consumption, Murkowski announced that she would block the confirmation of Dr. Robert Califf to be FDA Commissioner until her concerns regarding labeling guidelines for GE salmon had been resolved.
- December 2015: Murkowski successfully inserted a provision in the omnibus bill that blocks the FDA from introducing GE salmon into the market until it publishes labeling guidelines so consumers are aware of what is contained in the product they are purchasing.
- January 2016: Murkowski officially placed a hold on Dr. Califf’s confirmation after he advanced out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.
- January 2016: In direct response to Senator Murkowski’s efforts, the FDA announced an import ban on GE salmon until labeling guidelines had been published.
- February 2016: The FDA provided Senator Murkowski with technical drafting assistance on legislative language that would effectively mandate labeling of GE salmon, and in response Senator Murkowski lifted her hold on Dr. Califf’s nomination.
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