Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed an amendment to label genetically engineered salmon, which was offered by Senator Murkowski (R-AK) and added to a spending bill language. The amendment passed through the Committee by a narrow margin of 15 to 14, and would provide at least $150,000 for labeling. Senator Begich (D-AK) was a co-sponsor of the amendment, and also voted in favor.
According to the Center for Food Safety, the bill is on track to pass on the Senate floor in the coming weeks.
Aquabounty’s “AquAdvantage” GE salmon is the first genetically engineered animal intended for human consumption, and produces growth hormones year-round to make the fish grow at twice its natural rate. More than 50,000 Just Label It supporters added comments to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s open comment period this spring asking for proper review and labels for GE salmon.
Despite this new techonology, there have been no long-term studies on the safety of eating GE salmon, nor has the environmental or economic impact of this salmon been adequately evaluated. Polls show that more than 90% of American consumers want to know about the food they’re eating, a right held by citizens in 64 countries around the world that already require mandatory labeling of GE foods.