Viewpoint: Sen. Lisa Murkowski farm bill rider could keep GMO salmon off the market

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Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski (left) says USDA's bioengineered labels aren't clear enough for GMO salmon.

Republicans claim to believe in free markets, at least until competition meets hometown interests. For a case study, witness Senator Lisa Murkowski ’s backroom effort to coddle Alaska’s Pacific salmon industry at the expense of consumers.

We’re told Ms. Murkowski will use her perch on the Senate Appropriations Committee …. to slip a rider into a farm spending bill that continues to block the sale of genetically modified salmon. The Alaskan has used riders to single-handedly block GM salmon for years, but the stakes are now higher.

Ms. Murkowski’s specific target is AquaBounty, a small company that is finally ready to bring its bio-engineered Atlantic salmon to market …. The Food and Drug Administration ruled in 2015 that the fish are “safe to eat” and “as nutritious” as other Atlantic salmon.

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But Ms. Murkowski then stepped in with a rider barring the sale of GM salmon until the FDA issued consumer-labeling guidelines …. Yet we’re told Ms. Murkowski now plans a rider that would require “a label comprehension study” before fish can be sold. Such reviews are usually reserved for pharmaceutical drugs, can take years, and in this case would require the destruction of AquaBounty’s fish ….

Read full, original article: The Alaskan prepares a sneak attack on the U.S. GM salmon industry (Behind Paywall)

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