As a federal regulatory panel mulls over whether to approve genetically modified salmon for human consumption, a new effort to require labeling for the engineered fish is afoot.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), chairwoman of the House committee that controls the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Department of Agriculture budgets, introduced a bill Wednesday that would mandate labeling of genetically modified fish.

According to her office, DeLauro’s Consumers Right to Know Food Labeling Act would also require USDA to mandate that products of cloned animals be labeled, if intended for human consumption.
“A recent Food & Water Watch survey revealed that 78 percent of Americans do not want genetically-engineered salmon to be approved and made available in stores and restaurants,” said DeLauro in a statement.  “It is obvious that the American public wants to be able to make informed decisions when purchasing their food and that they want to be able to differentiate cloned or genetically modified products from natural products.”

“Because the FDA is treating these genetically modified salmon not as a food issue but as an animal drug issue, current regulations would leave the consumers unable to discern between these new modified salmon and traditional salmon,” she added. “If FDA approves the genetically modified salmon the American public deserves to know the truth about their food, and this legislation will ensure that they are provided with this critical information.”

  • laturb

    Only one reason why producers would not want the public to know that their fish is GM because given the choice a high percentage of everyday folk wont buy it.
    However, even if legislation goes ahead, which it must if the FDA wants to retain any credibility on this issue, Frankenfish will still find its way into the food chain through by-products that won’t detail origin and/or Frankenfish that escape into the natural environment.

  • Alan8

    Biology is the most complex process known. Changing a gene affects hundreds of biochemical processes in unknown ways.
    Allowing this science experiment into our food supply is irresponsible. The fact that it was planned to allow UNLABELED frankenfish to be eaten can only be seen as a corporate assault on consumers for profit.
    They’ve allowed Monsanto’s UNLABELED frankencorn into our food supply a few years ago. The fact that after a public uproar they’re suggesting this frankenfish be labeled is irrelevant: They’re on the side of corporate profits.
    The Green Party doesn’t accept ANY corporate money (unlike the two corporate parties) and represents CITIZENS’ interests.
    Your Green vote sends a strong message to the Democrats that we’re fed up (no pun intended) with their criminal refusal to protect us from frankenfoods.

  • Teresa Binstock

    The people running the FDA merit imprisonment.

  • Peter Haaxing

    “..current regulations would leave the consumers unable to discern between these new modified salmon and traditional salmon..” Nooo.. new modified salmon and SALMON. There fixed it for you.

  • Dallas

    Too bad believers in food safety are going crazy about GMO issues that science shows are of no significance (GMO salmon). Is it because people like Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) are scientifically illiterate or what they are saying is to achieve a PR objective and the truth is just inconvenient?
    With no science, just “belief”, to justify labeling requirements, one could speculate that the whole issue is just a fund raising method.
    From a pure scientific perspective, the present GMO definitions being pushed by the activists, would include “conventional” selective breeding and all crops would be GMO. Perhaps people don’t know that, for the last 4 decades or more, plant and animals breeders have been playing games with the genome, including treatment of embryos with radiation, chemical mutagens, diseases and other stress genome change inducers (heat, pressure, cold, etc.) to get more changes to the genome. All breeding systems now use modern genetic methods to identify and track genetic changes.
    If we want to feed the next 3 billion people without using all the useful land and fresh water on this planet for agriculture, we have to modify the genomes of our plants and animals to produce more with less land, water and food inputs. This is the real world of overpopulation — get over it.

  • Michael Bulger

    Aahhh, the Malthusian Nightmare.
    We’ve had a surplus of food on this planet since the dawn of history. It’s proper utilization of natural resources that matters, and even more so proper distribution.
    The Rev. Thomas Malthus provided the biotechnology industry with a wonderful PR tool long before genetic mapping was developed. However, the monopolizing of the world hunger issue is not sufficient to justify the actions of biotechnology. There are plenty of other avenues to explore that do not include non-traditional genome modification.
    With current and historical surpluses of agricultural output, the “GMO-solution” argument is like throwing a bucket of water on someone as they exit their shower and telling them you were worried that one day they might catch on fire.

  • Jan

    Great. But what about GMO foods that have BT corn and GM soy and canola in them? Is that part of DeLauro’s bill? I know her husband once worked for Monsanto and they are now controlling the rest of our food supply, so is that why? I agree that there should be labels on GM salmon, but she should carry it all the way.