Murkowski Urges Senate to Mandate Labeling of GE Salmon

Opposes Bill That Calls for Voluntary Labeling

Today U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) spoke on the Senate floor prior to the final vote on S.764, the Biotechnology Labeling Solutions Act. The legislation would allow the Agriculture Department to determine which foods qualify as genetically modified and let companies choose the method of disclosing genetically modified organism (GMO) ingredients to consumers.

On the Senate floor, Murkowski voiced her opposition to the bill because it does not mandate clear, unequivocal labels on genetically engineered (GE) salmon, while also preempting Alaska’s labeling law:  

“What we’ve been told is that if these genetically engineered salmon are out on the market, those who are marketing these salmon can voluntarily label them. Well let me ask you, who do you think is really going to voluntarily place a label on something that says, ‘This is not the real thing. This is not your wild Alaska salmon. This is a genetically engineered species?’ The reality is we will not see the labeling that I, as an Alaskan, who is putting fish on the dinner table for my family would require and would want. My opposition here is to anything that would mistakenly allow genetically engineered salmon into anyone’s home and have it be mislabeled as salmon. I am here today to push for consideration of what I believe are truly sensible, truly reasonable fixes. Alaskans will not accept that GE salmon, or this Frankenfish, be sold to us without clear labeling. And again, I for one am not going to feed my boys this fish.”

ge salmon floor speech

(Click here to watch Murkowski’s floor speech.)

Murkowski has continuously fought to secure a mandatory labeling requirement for GE salmon and most recently included a provision in the Agriculture appropriations bill that requires the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to mandate labeling of GE salmon. That bill passed the full Senate Appropriations Committee in May. 

Related Issues: Alaska's Fisheries