Senate bill introduced by Alaska's Murkowski would mandate GMO fish labeling

Published on
July 25, 2017
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowsk

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration would be required to label genetically modified seafood, according to a bill proposed by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Late last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations bill. 

Murkowski secured language in the bill requiring the FDA to mandate labeling of genetically engineered salmon. In addition, the current import ban on GE salmon would continue until final labeling guidelines have been set by the FDA.

“Seafood is vital to our state’s economy, and Alaskans will not accept that GE salmon, or ‘Frankenfish,’ be sold to anyone without clear labeling. Consumers deserve to know what they are eating, especially when it’s not the wild-caught, healthy, sustainable real thing,” Murkowski said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted permission for genetically modified salmon to be sold in the United States in November 2015.

In addition, Murkowski’s  bill directs the FDA to review its January, 2017 seafood advice and “make necessary technical corrections to ensure that pregnant and nursing women receive consistent and understandable nutrition advice, based on the most recent and complete science, on what seafood is safe and healthy to consume,” according to a statement from Murkowski’s office.

The USDA should also allow more fish in more WIC food packages, the bill says. The agency should also “prioritize the health and cultural benefits of fish, and allow states to prioritize fish over legumes and peanut butter in implementing the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine recommendations,” the statement said.

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