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U.S. Blocks Import Of ‘Frankenfish’ Salmon Until Labeling Guidelines Are Set

By Ruchel Louis Coetzee
Posted On Feb 22, 2016
U.S. Blocks Import Of ‘Frankenfish’ Salmon Until Labeling Guidelines Are Set

Last November, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave the first-ever approval of a genetically engineered (GE) Atlantic salmon for human consumption.  Since then, critics have had plenty to say about GE Atlantic salmon, dubbed ‘Frankenfish’, which is described as having a gene from a faster-growing Pacific salmon and a gene from another fish that allow year-round growth.  After much debate, the FDA announced earlier this month that it would block all imports of AquaBounty’s recently approved GE salmon until the agency has determined how to label the unusual product.

Last month Senator Murkowski, an Alaskan politician, secured a provision in the spending bill that blocks the FDA from introducing GE salmon into the market until it publishes labeling guidelines. Now the agency must act on that directive so that consumers are better informed. “This GE salmon should not have been approved in the first place, but thanks to the efforts of Senator Murkowski, along with millions of Americans who voiced their opposition, the FDA is finally addressing at least one of the primary concerns with this product,” says Jaydee Hanson, senior policy analyst at Center for Food Safety.

Hanson would also like to see the FDA investigate the potential for environmental and economic damage to the native salmon and the communities who rely on them.   “This is a huge step in our fight against ‘Frankenfish’,” said Murkowski. “It seems that the FDA has begun to listen and I hope this is a sign that the agency plans to develop these necessary guidelines.”

We would love to hear your thoughts on GE salmon vs. wild salmon.