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"they [CFS] have been a real leader- in raising questions about genetically modified food, and the technology behind it, the impact on farmers. Because it's not just about environmental health threats, it's really a political issue..."
-Michael Pollan
Award-winning author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food
Mandatory Labeling for GE Salmon Overcomes Major Hurdle
June 20th, 2013

Food Movement Celebrates Historic Vote

The Center for Food Safety applauds the passage of a bipartisan amendment offered by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to the FY 2014 Agriculture Appropriations bill that would require the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered (GE) salmon.  It marks the first recorded vote on GE food labeling in the Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill is on track to pass on the Senate floor in the coming weeks.

“The tide is shifting in states across the nation and on Capitol Hill in favor of labeling genetically engineered foods,” said Colin O’Neil, director of government affairs for Center for Food Safety.  “Consumers are overwhelmingly demanding that genetically engineered foods be labeled.  The Murkowski amendment is a big step forward for consumer rights.”

The amendment was offered by Senator Murkowski today in the Senate Appropriations Committee.  Senator Murkowski was supported in committee by Senator Dianne Feinstein and others who spoke in strong favor of labeling.  Objections were raised by Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), ultimately bringing the amendment to a recorded vote where it passed 15-14.

Earlier this year, nearly 2 million Americans wrote to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) opposing the introduction of genetically engineered fish. The first such GE fish, a GE salmon engineered for faster growth, is currently in its final stage of review with the agency.  

If approved, the FDA has signaled that it would not require labeling despite strong public demand. Beyond the failure to label, FDA’s current proposed approval of the GE salmon is unlawful and dangerous, and should be rejected outright.  

Currently, 64 countries require the labeling of GE foods including Japan, Australia, Brazil, China, Russia and the European Union.  Most recently several major grocery retailers, including Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, committed to not sell GE seafood if it is allowed on the market. 

Text of the amendment can be found here.

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