The FDA has removed the last roadblock to genetically engineered (GE) salmon hitting supermarket shelves. The GE salmon will have to follow the labeling guidelines spelled out in the GMO labeling law passed by Congress in 2016—meaning that the only indication consumers will have that the salmon is genetically engineered may be a scannable QR code. We must support legislation that calls for stronger labeling requirements for GE salmon.
The FDA approved AquaBounty’s GE salmon in 2015, making it the first GE animal approved by the FDA for eating. In 2016, however, Congress ordered the FDA to stop the GE salmon from entering the US market until there were labeling guidelines in place for GE foods.
The FDA then issued an import ban on GE salmon, preventing AquaBounty from bringing GE salmon and salmon eggs into the US.
Now that the USDA’s GMO labeling rule has become final, the FDA lifted the import ban on GE salmon.
Major retailers (Safeway, Target, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods, to name just a few) pledged years ago not to carry the GE salmon. We will see if that pledge holds when the rubber meets the road.
To comply with the sham GMO labeling law, all retailers have to do is have a scannable QR code on the package of the GE fish that says it has been genetically modified. As most consumers don’t use these codes, many may have no clue that they’re buying GE salmon.
There are a number of bills in Congress that would require clear labeling of genetically engineered salmon. The Genetically Engineered Salmon Labeling Act (S. 282/H.R. 1103) sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in the Senate and Rep. Don Young (R-AK-At Large) in the House would require any salmon that is genetically engineered to include the words “Genetically Engineered” or “GE” in the name of the product.
Another bill, also sponsored by Rep. Don Young, addresses all genetically engineered fish. It amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require any food that contains genetically engineered fish to bear a label stating that the food contains genetically engineered fish.
We must support these bills so consumers can make informed decisions about the food they buy.
Source: ANH USA