Alaska senator introduces GE Salmon labeling bill

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“We have the right to know what we’re eating,” said U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski.

Alaskan Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski on Wednesday reintroduced the Genetically Engineered Salmon Labeling Act, to ensure that any salmon that is genetically engineered be clearly labelled. The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR).

“There’s a huge difference between genetically engineered salmon and the healthy, sustainably-caught, wild Alaskan salmon,” said Murkowski

The legislation ensures that any GE salmon products in the U.S. market are clearly labelled “genetically engineered” in the market name. Last month, USDA published labelling guidelines for genetically engineered foods, including GE salmon.

In December, AquaBounty the biotech company that can grow salmon at twice the speed, lauded the news that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has released its disclosure standards for the labeling of products containing bioengineered components.

“USDA’s new guidelines don’t require mandatory labeling, and instead allows producers to use QR codes or 1-800 numbers, which is a far stretch from giving consumers clear information. There’s a huge difference between genetically engineered salmon and the healthy, sustainably-caught, wild Alaskan salmon. My legislation will ensure that consumers have all the facts, allowing them to make more informed decisions when they purchase salmon,” said Senator Murkowski.

“We have the right to know what we’re eating. When you splice DNA from another animal and combine it with farmed salmon, you are essentially creating a new species and I have serious concerns with that. If we are going to allow this fabricated fish to be sold in stores, we must ensure there is at least clear labeling. Americans should not become test subjects for this new product without their full knowledge and consent.”

SalmonBusiness has approached AquaBounty for comment.