Fish Radio

May 28, 2014

NO Frankenfish! Credit:

NO Frankenfish!

Frankenfish labeling advanced in DC                    

 This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Labels for Frankenfish get a bipartisan nod in DC. More after this –

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If genetically modified salmon gets a green light by the FDA, it will be labeled as such if US Senators have their way. The Senate Appropriations Committee passed the Murkowski-Begich amendment last week requiring that consumers be advised of what they are buying. Senator Murkowski –

 What this does it takes it takes a transgenic Atlantic salmon egg, which has genes from an ocean pout, somewhat akin to an eel, and it combines with the genes of a Chinook salmon. I have questioned time and time again, why we would want to be messing with Mother Nature like this. We are trying to invent a species that would grow quicker to out compete our wild stocks. This experiment I think puts at risk the health of our fisheries not only in Alaska, but throughout the Pacific Northwest.   

Murkowski questions whether the so called Frankenfish can even be called a real salmon. To date, more than 1.5 million people have written in opposition to approval of the genetically tweaked salmon, and 65 supermarkets have said they won’t carry it.

 We are not doing anything more than telling the FDA if you move forward with a wrongheaded decision to allow for the first time ever this genetically engineered salmon for human consumption, then at a bare minimum you’ve got to stick a label on that says so. /Because as someone who wants to be sure that the food that is put on the table for my kids is good and safe and known to be safe, and I want to know what I’m buying.

 Democratic Senator Jeff Merkly of Oregon agreed –

 Whether we look at this from the viewpoint of a citizen’s right to know what they’re buying, or we look at it from the viewpoint of ensuring a healthy industry that’s so important to our states, this amendment is right on. Absolutely 100 percent right on. And if you buy salmon, you should buy 100 percent salmon.

Likewise, Appropriations Committee Chair Senator Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat from Maryland –

If something is a GMO food, we ought to know what it is. I don’t want to eat a Dolly-burger and I don’t want to eat a Frankenfish.

 A voice vote on the Murkowski-Begich amendment passed with only one dissenter. It now goes to the Senate floor as part of the agriculture spending bill.

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, an Alaska corporation proudly supporting Alaska’s coastal communities and the Alaskans who depend on fishing for their livelihoods and culture.   In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.