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.”