Clearing a major legislative hurdle, an amendment co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Mark Begich to require labeling of genetically engineered (GE) salmon today successfully passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee on a vote of 15-14 and will now head to the full Senate.
Begich introduced the bill as an amendment to the Agricultural Appropriations bill. The amendment allocates $150,000 to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to implement a requirement to label GE salmon. Sen. Lisa Murkowski joins Sen. Begich as the amendment's lead co-sponsor.
"Today we made groundbreaking progress on requiring labeling of Frankenfish. It's high time this bill to prevent this imposter from disguising itself as the real deal is debated in front of the Senate," said Begich. "These fake fish pose a serious threat to the health of American seafood lovers and consumers have a right to know what's on their dinner plate."
The bill, which passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee as a result of Begich's persistent encouragement, passed on a slim vote of 15-14, with 12 Democrats and three Republicans supporting the bill.
"As a new member of the Senate Appropriations Committee I am pleased to be able to secure the necessary votes to move these important Alaska issues," said Begich.
Begich has led the fight against genetically modified fish and called for the labeling for genetically engineered foods since taking office. The bill will now head to the Senate floor for debate and a vote.