The U.S. Senate has rejected an amendment today (Thursday) by Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski to require a comprehensive study before genetically engineered salmon can be sold to consumers.
Murkowski says she’s disappointed with the 50-to-46 vote, but notes it’s closer than previous votes on the subject.
Her amendment to the Food and Drug Administration Reauthorization Bill would have required the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration do the same scientific and economic analysis for genetically modified salmon as it does for other federal fisheries.
Murkowski told her Senate colleagues that people have a right to know what their fish is made of and where it comes from.
Despite the vote, Senator Mark Begich, who co-sponsored the legislation, says there is progress in the fight against “Frankenfish.”
“Today’s vote shows more and more Americans are realizing that genetically engineered seafood is risky and unnecessary,” Begich says.
Begich has sponsored three bills that attempted to ban, label or prohibit the interstate commerce of the genetically modified fish.
Aqua Bounty has developed an Atlantic salmon that would grow year-round and make it to market-size quicker. The company claims it would rear only sterile female salmon in a land-locked area to prevent escape into the wild. Alaskans see it as a direct threat to one of the state’s largest industries.
If Aqua Bounty’s fish is certified, it would be the first genetically engineered meat product approved for human consumption.