Legislation in Opposition to Genetically Engineered Salmon Goes to House

Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, with California Democrats Mike
Thompson and Jared Huffman, has introduced legislation in the U.S. House of
Representatives aimed at keeping genetically engineered fish off of the
nation’s dinner plates.
H.R. 1667, the Prevention of Escapement of Genetically
Altered Salmon in the United States (PEGASUS), introduced on April 23, is the
companion legislation to the PEGASUS Act introduced in the Senate by Sen. Mark
Begich, D-Alaska, with support from Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.
Young, Thompson and Huffman earlier introduced legislation
that would require all genetically engineered salmon sold for consumption to be
labeled as such.
The legislation came in response to plans from AquaBounty
Technologies to offer the fish for commercial consumption.  Their proposal is currently being reviewed by
the US Food and Drug Administration.
Young said that the FDA is reviewing this salmon “as if it
were a new drug meant for animals.
“Using this type of review on a product meant for America’s
dinner plates is dead wrong,” he said. “It fails to consider the possible
dangers this genetically engineered product poses to natural salmon species and
our nation’s salmon industry,” he said. The PEGASUS legislation “sends a clear
message to federal regulators, shareholders of the companies producing genetically
engineered salmon, and concerned consumers,” he said. “Keep these fish out of
our waters before they ruin what I think is one of the finest products in the
The PEGASUS Act would prohibit the shipment, sale,
transportation, purchase, possession, or release in the wild of GE salmon or
other GE finfish unless the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the US Fish and Wildlife
Service complete a full environmental impact statement and find that it will
result in no significant impact to the environment.