A U.S. Senate panel yesterday moved to require labeling for genetically modified salmon, if it’s approved for sale in this country.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski told the Senate Appropriations Committee she hopes the FDA never allows genetically modified salmon to reach supermarket shelves.
“But we haven’t been able to get the FDA able to slow down off their track of approval,” she said.
So, Murkowski says, they should at least require “that they put on the package of fish: This is a genetically modified salmon.”
But mandatory labeling repels senators from farm states, who fear it’ll lead to labeling of GM crops. Sen. Mike Johanns of Nebraska defended genetically modified food at the hearing, saying it can help sustain the world’s ever-growing population. Johanns says labeling would be a compliance nightmare, with consumers footing the bill.
“There’s a cost to that, for no basis in science,” he said.
–Alaska House passes resolution opposing “Frankenfish”
–Alaska Senate set to approve anti-Frankenfish resolution
–FDA to announce decision on genetically modified salmon
–While FDA mulls genetically modified salmon, supermarkets back away
The company that wants to produce the AquAdvantage salmon says its farmed fish would be just like a conventional Atlantic salmon. Sen. Mark Begich, who co-sponsored Murkowski’s labeling amendment, says the company should just be upfront with consumers.
“If their fish product is so good, then tell us,” he said. “That’s all we’re asking.”
Appropriations Committee passed the amendment on a voice vote with only one audible “nay.” Still, it’s a long way from law. Alaska’s delegation to Congress has fought to require labeling in the past, only to see it stripped out of the final legislation. The bill next goes to the full Senate.
- The legislature that voters send to Juneau in January will be very different than the one that left in July.
- Wielechowski has been in the news this year for filing a lawsuit to keep Permanent Fund dividends whole.
- The Anchorage race between Republican Cathy Giessel and independent Vince Beltrami could help determine the balance of power in the state Senate, and how Alaska takes on its fiscal crisis.
- Nineteen-year-old Dallas Roberts grew up in St. Paul attending Bering Sea Days. After a year at college, he's back in the Pribilofs teaching kids about the island's greenhouse.