This Is Huge: Spending Bill Forces FDA to Label the New GM Salmon



By Julie Fidler | Natural Society

In the massive spending bill unveiled Wednesday morning on Capitol Hill, 2 small paragraphs contain language that may force the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to finalize guidelines for the labeling of the recently-approved genetically modified (GM) salmon, or “Frankenfish.”

Related Article: What Does FDA-Approved GMO Salmon Really Mean for Our Health?

In the $1.1 trillion bill to fund the government through September 2016, the agency is instructed to ban the sale of GM salmon until it can complete labeling guidelines and “a program to disclose to consumers” whether a fish has been genetically altered. The FDA is expected to spend a minimum of $150,000 of its funding to develop these guidelines. [1]

The directive comes a month after health regulators made salmon the first GM animal approved for human consumption. The AquaAdvantage salmon, produced by AquaBounty Technologies, claims to meet the statutory requirements for safety and effectiveness under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

The Alaskan salmon contains a growth hormone from a Chinook salmon and a gene from the ocean pout that makes the fish grow large enough for consumption in 18 months instead of the normal 3 years. Deep concerns have been raised by opponents of the product and commercial fisherman over whether the fish is indeed safe to eat and whether it would be dangerous to the environment if it ever made its way into ocean waters and mated with wild salmon.

Related Article: 44 Reasons to Ban or Label GMOs – by Gary Null, PhD.

AquaBounty claims the fish are all sterile females that are raised in land-locked facilities, but at one point, the FDA actively sought to release the mutated creatures into the wild.

“There’s a question as to whether this fish should even be called a salmon,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who pushed for the additional language. “The FDA made no mandatory labeling requirement. Instead, they said it could be labeled voluntarily. But no manufacturer of a ‘Frankenfish’ is going to label it as such. … At least now people will have the opportunity, the chance, to know what it is that they are purchasing.”

It’s unclear where the AquAdvantage salmon might show up for sale, but consumer and environmental activists alike have convinced some of the nation’s largest retailers – including Target, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Costco – not to sell it.

While most Americans support the labeling of GMO foods, industry groups are not happy that the Frankenfish will have the GMO label slapped on it.

Related Article: Monsanto’s DARK ACT Stopped Dead in its Tracks in Congress

“It is unfortunate that Congress has failed to take action this year to stop a patchwork of costly and misleading state labeling mandates, an issue of tremendous importance to consumers, farmers, food and beverage companies,” Pamela Bailey, president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Associations said in a statement. “In January, food manufacturers will face exponentially increasing costs totaling hundreds of millions of dollars to comply with Vermont’s GMO labeling mandate.” [2]

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12 Reader Comments

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  1.' Amy Faria says:

    Luckily i dont eat salmon

    •' Thia Alizabeth Tait Blackwater says:

      I love salmon the oil is good for the brain, hair and skin… Won’t ever touch a frankenfish ever

  2.' Billy Taylor says:

    Wtf is this May contain shit. Arrgggghhhhhh can’t anyone just tell the truth

  3.' Colin Daugherty says:

    Now if we could just label the rest of the GMOs.

  4.' Susan Home says:

    Are wild caught labeled for radiation?

  5.' Linda Baldwin Avila says:

    Thanks be!

  6.' Jennifer Kuser says:

    Labeling one gmo out of how many? Stop playing politics with our food. We have been fighting this fight for years.

  7.' Sheila Thwaites says:

    It’s a start, okay Canada time to step up!

  8.' Jeremy Hood-Daniel says:

    its what they dont label you have to wonder about. they have already been proven to speak with forked tongue

  9.' Nicolette Joan says:

    Great news. Label or we will be done eating ALL SALMON

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