The Federal Food and Drug Administration has approved an application from AquaBounty Technologies for genetically modified salmon to be raised in hatchery tanks in Canada and Panama as safe enough to be marketed in America.
The Center for Food Safety in Washington DC quickly announced plans to sue the FDA to block the agency’s approval for sale and consumption of the genetically modified fish. The Center’s executive director, Andrew Kimbrell, said that the FDA “has neglected its responsibility to protect the public.”
The Center contends that the FDA’s review process was inadequate, failed to fully examine the likely impacts of the genetically modified salmon’s introduction and lacked a comprehensive analysis. “CFS will hold FDA to their obligations to the American people,” Kimbrell said.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, a long time opponent of GM salmon, said she plans to push back against the FDA’s decision by advancing her efforts for mandatory labeling. Murkowski said she also intends to block the confirmation of Robert Califf to become the next FDA commissioner, “due to the lack of cooperation and communication from the FDA surrounding their announcement that the agency has approved this salmon.
“I will not stand back and just watch these genetically engineered creatures be placed in our kitchens and on our tables without a fight,” Murkowski said. The Alaska Republican said she would do everything she can to make sure the genetically modified salmon is labeled, “because consumers have a right to know what it is they are eating.”
Murkowski said she would reintroduce an updated version of her current legislation, S.738, to require further research into the risks and impacts of this fish and to address the more urgent need for mandatory labeling requirements.