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Copyright vEsti24
Oct 20 2011
Murkowski, Begich Try to Stop Genetically Engineered Salmon PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 20 October 2011

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            Alaska's senators are making a last minute push against geneticallyengineered- also called GE- fish. The Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve Massachusetts-based AquaBounty's application to commercialize GE fish. If that happens GE fish could be found in grocery stores across the country.

            Senator Mark Begich has introduced the Prevention of Escapement of Genetically Altered Salmon in the United States or PEGASUS Act. If the act passes, genetically engineered fish will fall in the same category as guns, medical marijuana, health insurance sales and raw milk: All things you can't take across state lines. The exact language says it would be unlawful to "ship, transport, offer for sale, sell, or purchase genetically altered salmon or other marine fish, or a product containing genetically altered salmon or other marine fish, in interstate or foreign commerce."Begich says his major concerns regarding the approval of GE fish are jobs and sustainable fisheries. His bill covers all the bases. It even includes language that would make it illegal to be holding GE fish with the intent to distribute.

            Senator Lisa Murkowski has introduced an amendment to the 2012 Agriculture Appropriations bill that would prohibit the use of federal funds by the FDA to approve AquaBounty's application. She says proponents of GE fish have a slim chance to convince her that the fish are a good idea.

            An amendment to ban funding failed to clear the Senate agriculture committee last month, but the Young-Woolsey amendment- which is similarly worded- was approved by the House in June. A representative from AquaBounty refused to comment on the proposed legislation until after it was voted on.

            The FDA announced last week that it has completed its evaluation of the environmental impact of GE fish and has expressed support for its sale in the U.S. AquaBounty has not asked for approval to grow the GE fish in the U.S., as they plan to produce the GE salmon eggs in Prince Edward Island, Canada, and then ship the eggs to Panama for growing and processing. By manufacturing the fish outside of the U.S. they avoided a full environmental impact review. The evaluation is currently being reviewed by the White House's Office of Management and Budget.

 
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