Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Legislation in Opposition to Genetically Engineered Salmon Goes to House

Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, with California Democrats Mike Thompson and Jared Huffman, has introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives aimed at keeping genetically engineered fish off of the nation’s dinner plates.

H.R. 1667, the Prevention of Escapement of Genetically Altered Salmon in the United States (PEGASUS), introduced on April 23, is the companion legislation to the PEGASUS Act introduced in the Senate by Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, with support from Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.
Young, Thompson and Huffman earlier introduced legislation that would require all genetically engineered salmon sold for consumption to be labeled as such.

The legislation came in response to plans from AquaBounty Technologies to offer the fish for commercial consumption.  Their proposal is currently being reviewed by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Young said that the FDA is reviewing this salmon “as if it were a new drug meant for animals.

“Using this type of review on a product meant for America’s dinner plates is dead wrong,” he said. “It fails to consider the possible dangers this genetically engineered product poses to natural salmon species and our nation’s salmon industry,” he said. The PEGASUS legislation “sends a clear message to federal regulators, shareholders of the companies producing genetically engineered salmon, and concerned consumers,” he said. “Keep these fish out of our waters before they ruin what I think is one of the finest products in the world.”

The PEGASUS Act would prohibit the shipment, sale, transportation, purchase, possession, or release in the wild of GE salmon or other GE finfish unless the National  Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the US Fish and Wildlife Service complete a full environmental impact statement and find that it will result in no significant impact to the environment.

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