Alaskan Congressman Don Young has introduced H.R. 584, which would require all genetically engineered (GE) fish sold for consumption to be labeled as such. This legislation comes in response to a proposal by AquaBounty Technologies, currently under final consideration by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA):
"I have once again introduced legislation that will force the FDA to let Americans know exactly what type of salmon they are eating. This commonsense bill will require clear labeling of food containing genetically engineered fish," Rep. Young said.
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.
"It is processed food at its most basic level, and should be labeled accordingly, particularly when no independent science exists to prove that it is safe," said Dale Kelley, Executive Director of the Alaska Trollers Association. "Such a label is not misleading, nor is it in any way false, it is simply telling the consumer the truth about a type of food that until just a few years ago was inconceivable. People should have the right to choose!"
In the 112th Congress, Congressman Young was able to secure an amendment to H.R. 2112 (Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration Appropriations Act of 2012), which passed the U.S. House of Representatives on June 16, 2011. The amendment prohibited any funding for the AquaBounty Technologies FDA approval process, but the amendment was stripped out in Conference Committee.