Murkowski: Frankenfish Fight Not Over

In the wake of a Federal Drug Administration decision to approve an application for an AquaBounty salmon facility in Indiana, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, says the fight against Frankenfish is not over.

The Alaska Republican issued a statement on May 1 saying she will continue to push for clear labeling of this product, if it enters the domestic marketplace, and for proper oversight. The senator is a sponsor of the Genetically Engineered Salmon Labeling Act.

Murkowski noted that genetically engineered salmon are currently evaluated under the FDA’s New Animal Drug Application, a program intended to oversee antibiotics and medicines used on animals and livestock. “The fact that the FDA does not have a proper approval process in place for these new GE (genetically engineered) animals for human consumption is frightening and appalling,” she said. “Alaska’s fisheries are world renowned for their high quality, productivity and sustainability, and these genetically modified salmon could potentially devastate our wild populations of salmon and desolate our fisheries,” she said.

While the Indiana plant is approved for production, the company is prohibited from importing the eggs necessary for producing GE salmon there, meaning that U.S. production of the genetically engineered fish is not allowed. That’s because of a requirement in FDA’s current appropriations law that Murkowski championed, which was added in the recent fiscal year 2018 government funding bill and signed into law in March.