Friday, July 17, 2015

Senate Committee on Appropriations Approves GE Salmon Labeling

On July 16, 2015, the Senate Committee on Appropriations approved the Fiscal Year 2016 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. The bill received bipartisan support, which would appropriate $148.3 billion for agricultural and rural development, as well as food safety, public health, and nutrition programs.

The bill covers a wide variety of issues, but one amendment to the bill may prove to be very controversial. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced an amendment to the bill that would require the FDA to spend “not less than $150,000…to implement a requirement that the labeling of genetically engineered salmon offered for sale to consumers indicate that such salmon is genetically engineered…” Sen. Murkowski assured her colleagues that the labeling would not set precedent for the labeling of bioengineered crops, claiming “[c]orn doesn’t swim from one field to the next…Fish move. Fish escape.”

Although the bill passed with a vote of 28-2, it is important to note that Sen. Murkowski’s amendment was unanimously accepted. A press release summarizing the highlights of the bill can be read here. The full text of the bill can be found here.

Written by Tyler R. Etter- Research Assistant
July 17, 2015

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