Genetically modified salmon supplier AquaBounty is criticizing “vague” new requirements for GM-salmon labeling that were included in the Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations bill, which is expected to pass in the U.S. Senate this week.
The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, which passed in May 2018, requires genetically modified foods to be labeled “bioengineered.” But U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) attached a rider to this year’s appropriations bill, which would require GM salmon approved prior to the standards being passed to include “genetically engineered” on its labeling
”Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the acceptable market name of any engineered animal approved prior to the effective date of the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard shall include the words ‘genetically engineered’ prior to the existing acceptable market name,” Murkowski’s rider states.
While the new language “will finally allow us to commercialize our FDA-approved bioengineered salmon, we believe it is completely unnecessary,” AquaBounty said in a press release. “Senator Murkowski continues to single out a small, innovative, American company in a misguided attempt to protect a parochial special interest when, in reality, the rider most benefits Chilean and Norwegian companies that currently export more Atlantic salmon to the U.S. than any American company produces.”
Because AquaBounty’s salmon is “safe and identical to other farm-raised Atlantic salmon, this provision sets a dangerous precedent for all bioengineered foods because it was passed as an appropriations rider, yet has nothing to do with funding, and it imposes a mandate that targets a single company and product and calls into question the regulatory process and federal disclosure requirements,” AquaBounty added. Read the article.