Senator Lisa Murkowski today welcomed a Food and Drug Administration decision to extend the 60-day comment period on genetically engineered salmon through April 26th -- ensuring that the concerns of countless Alaskans and hundreds of fish, consumer, environmental and religious groups will have a full chance to be heard.
Murkowski, long an opponent of "Jurassic Park"-style DNA splicing of "Frankenfish," has worked with a Coastal Coalition of Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Ocean Senators to call for more time to challenge the FDA's flawed decision to move forward in the approval process despite so many unanswered questions.
Alaskans united against Frankenfish Saturday at "Sitka Say No to GMO Salmon" rally. Senator Murkowski sent them a letter of support for the event
"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," said Murkowski. "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 wants all concerned Alaskans to submit electronic comments to: http://www.regulations.gov, or written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA--305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm.1061, Rockville, MD 20852.
Last week, Senator Murkowski co-sponsored two bills with her Coastal Coalition colleague Senator Mark Begich. One would make it illegal to sell, possess, transport or purchase GE salmon in the United States unless and until the NOAA approval process makes absolutely sure there is no harmful impact on the environment. The other bill defies the FDA's stance against clearly labeling Frankenfish, requiring that GE salmon be clearly labeled and identified so that consumers can have full faith in natural salmon and know the difference on grocery shelves so they can be sure they are purchasing the real thing.