Genetically Modified Salmon, If Approved, Would Need Identification Label

There’s no decision yet from the US Food and Drug
Administration on whether to allow genetically modified salmon to be sold to
the public, but if  it is, that product
would have to be specifically labeled as different from wild salmon.
The Senate Appropriations Committee this week approved an
amendment in the federal agriculture spending legislation to require labeling
of the product.  Among those backing the
amendment were Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich.  Both strongly oppose the product, which they
call “Frankenfish.”
“This would be the first time ever that the FDA has approved
for human consumption a genetically engineered fish,” Murkowski said.
“This is an experiment that, if it went wrong, could be
absolutely devastating to the wild healthy stocks that swim off the coast of
Alaska, up past California, Oregon and Washington state, she said.
“What this does is it takes a transgenic Atlantic salmon
egg, which has genes from an ocean pout, somewhat akin to an eel, and it
combines with the genes of a Chinook salmon. …. This experiment I think puts at
risk the health of our fisheries not only in Alaska, but throughout the Pacific
Murkowski noted that to date more than 1.5 million people
have written in opposition to approval of the genetically tweaked salmon, and
65 supermarkets have said they won’t carry it.”

An aide to Murkowski said he anticipates a final vote on the
matter this summer in Congress, before the 2015 fiscal year begins.