Good News on labeling of GMO/GE farmed salmon



by Catherine Haug, December 18, 2015 (Image, right, from Organic Consumers Assoc., used with permission)

GMO salmon to be labelled when available for sale!

Back on November 21, I wrote an article on FDA approval of GMO salmon without mandatory labeling, despite reliable polls showing 89% of voting Americans support mandatory labeling of GMO/GE foods in an easy-to-read format. But that is about to change as congress has directed the FDA to write guidelines for mandatory labeling of the fish.

Congress included a rider in the recently passed omnibus spending bill, requiring mandatory labeling of GMO/GE salmon. Specifically, the rider directs the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to (1):

  • Develop guidelines for mandatory labeling of genetically-engineered (GMO) farmed Atlantic salmon; and
  • Prevent its sale until such labeling is in effect.

Now its up to the FDA to write the guidelines for mandating the labeling, rather than allowing it be voluntary, and to ensure the labeling will be easy to read (not require a smartphone to read a QR code; see ‘QR code’ to label GMO foods? for more on this code).

The same bill also proposed a rider hat would have blocked states from implementing mandatory genetically engineered (GE) food labeling laws; fortunately, that rider was not included in the final bill. States are still free to enact their own mandate to label GMOS, and those that have such a law (that will go into effect in 2016) may proceed.



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