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Begich: Close Vote Shows Growing Concern over Frankenfish

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Today's close U.S. Senate vote over the approval of genetically-engineered (GE) salmon for human consumption shows growing concern with the notion, U.S. Senator Mark Begich said today.

The Senate voted 46-50 on an amendment to a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) bill that would have given the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) approval over any application to approve genetically engineered fish for human consumption. Currently, NOAA is only consulted on aspects of the application.

The amendment, authored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski and co-sponsored by Begich, required 60 votes for passage. However, it was the strongest Senate vote to date in the years of debate over so-called "Frankenfish."

"We're making progress in the fight against Frankenfish and while the war is not over yet, today's vote shows more and more Americans are realizing that genetically engineered seafood is risky and unnecessary," said Begich, who has previously sponsored three bills which aim to ban, label or prohibit the interstate commerce of Frankenfish.

A bipartisan group of 37 Democrats and 9 Republicans voted for the amendment. Alaska is the world's largest producer of wild, sustainably-harvested salmon.

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