The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that they will be extending the public comment period regarding genetically modified Salmon. More specifically, they will be extending the application 60 days after receiving an enormous response from the general public.
A reported 30,000 comments were received by the FDA agency since they announced the hybrid fish, aka Frankenfish, posed no threat.
According to spokesman Morgan Liscinsky:
The FDA will complete the review of the AquAdvantage Salmon application and will reach a decision on approval. At this point it is not possible to predict a timeline for when these decisions will be made.
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski opposes GMO fish as does much of the salmon industry in Alaska. Murkowski released a press release stating:
The Friday before Christmas, the Food and Drug Administration announced they were moving forward with the approval process on Frankenfish by opening the comment period – this at a time when everyone understandably has their mind on the holidays and the Congress is in a transition period. Despite those hurdles, I am proud that my Coastal Coalition in the Senate and those fighting along with us – like the Alaskans in Sitka last weekend – have raised our voices and outrage to a level where the FDA relented and is giving us more time to further lay out the case against GE salmon.
Senator Murkowski has co-sponsored two bills: one would make it illegal to sell, possess, transport or purchase GE salmon in the USA unless and until the NOAA approval process makes absolutely sure there is no harmful impact on the environment. The other bill requires that Frankenshish be labeled so consumers know what they are buying.
The other co-sponsor, Senator Begich, also released a statement:
I’m pleased the FDA heard our message loud and clear because Alaskans need this time to speak out against fake fish – both in our waters and on our dinner plates,” said Begich. “Allowing questionable science to ultimately influence our food supply is a slippery slope that Alaskans don’t want to go down. I hope Alaskans take the time to submit their comment to the FDA and let them know we won’t tolerate science projects messing with our wild salmon supply.
Alaska Representative Don Young introduced H.R. 584 to the House. The legislation requires that all genetically engineered fish sold for consumption to be labeled.
Representative Young said in a statement:
I have once again introduced legislation that will force the FDA to let Americans know exactly what type of salmon they are eating. This common sense bill will require clear labeling of food containing genetically engineered fish,” Rep. Young continued, “For the record, I believe that the FDA’s review of GE salmon as if it were an animal drug is dead wrong. This approach lacks the fundamental independent scientific review that the American people deserve before this experiment is permitted in our food supply or near our wild salmon populations.
A majority of American consumers want GE food labeled. This fact comes as no surprise considering data submitted to the FDA show that GE salmon contain 39% higher levels of a hormone linked to cancer, and exhibit 58% higher total fat than natural salmon,” Rep. Young concluded.
Now we all wait for a comment from the FDA and even the most optimistic can foresee concessions being made and labeling being the last hope to an untainted salmon food supply. As always, demand better and avoid the supermarket shelves.