A U.S. Senator from Connecticut is speaking out about the recent decision by the Food and Drug Administration to allow the sale of genetically engineered salmon.
Genetically engineered salmon is the first food from a genetically altered animal cleared for sale in the United States.
U.S. Richard Blumenthal said he did not support the recent decision by the FDA and called it a “major step backward for transparency.”
The new salmon comes from a Canadian company called Aqua-Advantage. They hatch the eggs in Canada, then ship them to Panama to be farmed.
The fish fillets will then turn up at a local grocery store, but never need to come with a label.
“Consumers have a right to know whether their food has been genetically engineered, so they can make informed choices about what they eat and purchase,” Blumenthal said.
Blumenthal went on to say the lack of “transparency” makes it “all the more urgent for Congress to act now to require clear, consistent, and mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods.”
Tara Cook-Littman, who is the chair of Citizens for GMO Labeling, ConnPIRG Executive Director Evan Preston, and Barbara Gordon with the Connecticut Seafood Council joined Blumenthal, parents and advocates on Monday morning for a press conference.
"I'm not telling the FDA they should not do it, I simply want a label so that I can choose whether or not to support genetically engineered salmon," said Cook-Littman.
Experts said there is no evidence that the genetically engineered fish poses a health risk.
While the fish is still years away from hitting the stores, there is a good chance genetically modified food is already in many peoples' pantries.
Corn and soy products are often modified to grow faster. Tomatoes and apples are also modified to increase shelf life, all with no labels.
However, Cook said the salmon is a big step because it is the first animal entering this brand new market.
"We know they're already working on genetically engineered pigs, so this is absolutely open the floodgates to all animals," Cook-Littman said.
Experts said there is no health risk, and critics said the easiest way to avoid GMOs altogether is to buy organic.
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