Spending bill includes rider on GMO salmon labeling

A bill poised to pass the U.S. Congress would require the FDA to produce labeling guidelines before it allows the sale of genetically engineered salmon. That’s one policy rider Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she fought for that’s included in the package of year-end spending and tax bills.

Photo: AquaBounty Technologies
Photo: AquaBounty Technologies

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The FDA has already approved a genetically altered salmon for human consumption, without a labeling requirement. Murkowski, in a written statement, says the measure would also require the FDA to adopt a program to inform consumers whether a salmon on the market is genetically engineered.

Murkowski says a separate provision in the bill would prohibit the marketing of fish from foreign waters as “Alaska pollock.”

An unrelated measure to end the crude oil export ban is included in the bill. It wouldn’t directly affect North Slope oil, since it was already exempt. But lifting the ban is one of the national goals Murkowski set when she became chairman of the Senate Energy Committee at the start of the year.

Congress is expected to pass the package this week.