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GMO-FREE PRODUCTS: Alaska’s senators ask for clear labeling for frankenfish as the salmon continues towards approval



                                  PART 1


------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:   ALASKA?S SENATORS ASK FOR CLEAR LABELING FOR FRANKENFISH AS THE SALMON CONTINUES TOWARDS APPROVAL

SOURCE:  Alaska Native News

AUTHOR:  GW Rastopsoff

URL:     http://alaska-native-news.com/alaska-native-news-at-sea/8053-alaska-s-senators-ask-for-clear-labeling-for-frankenfish-as-the-salmon-continues-towards-approval.html

DATE:    19.03.2013

SUMMARY: "An amendment to the continuing Resolution being debated in the Senate was filed yesterday by Alaska?s senators, Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich. The amendment called for clear and unquestionable labeling being placed on salmon products that have been genetically modified. This is the latest obstacle placed in the path of Aquabounty as that company moves to place their GM salmon on storeshelves for human consumption. There is concern in many corners that the genetically engineered salmon that has genes spliced from eel pout and a growth hormone from Chinook salmon will elevate the potential for allergies and that the elevated levels IGF-1 growth hormone will increase the risk of colon, prostate, and breast cancer."

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ALASKA?S SENATORS ASK FOR CLEAR LABELING FOR FRANKENFISH AS THE SALMON CONTINUES TOWARDS APPROVAL

An amendment to the continuing Resolution being debated in the Senate was filed yesterday by Alaska?s senators, Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich. The amendment called for clear and unquestionable labeling being placed on salmon products that have been genetically modified.

This is the latest obstacle placed in the path of Aquabounty as that company moves to place their GM salmon on storeshelves for human consumption.

There is concern in many corners that the genetically engineered salmon that has genes spliced from eel pout and a growth hormone from Chinook salmon will elevate the potential for allergies and that the elevated levels IGF-1 growth hormone will increase the risk of colon, prostate, and breast cancer.

The Food and Drug Administration pushed through approval of the genetically engineered salmon during the Christmas break this past year and is currently in the public comment stage of the approval. It is expected that that approval will go through and GE salmon, affectionately nick-named ?Frankenfish? will be on store shelves by next year.

Yesterday?s amendment by Alaska?s senators will at least ensure that Americans will know the difference between natural salmon and the salmon that have been genetically engineered.

?When any consumer is clearly presented with an option of natural salmon ? particularly from Alaska ? against putting some chemistry experiment on their plate, there really is no choice at all,? said Senator Murkowski. ?With all the splicing and the scientific wizardry going on behind the scenes, I?m not even sure they should be labeled as ?salmon? in the first place.?

?Alaskans deserve to know what is on their dinner plates, especially if it?s something that was grown in a science lab or was caught across the globe,? said Senator Begich. ?With Alaskans world renowned stocks of wild salmon, every effort needs to be made to protect the hard-working fishermen selling a real, wild product from imposters trying to trick consumers.?

In Alaska On Friday, Alaska?s House Joint Resolution 5, calling on the FDA to reconsider the preliminary findings on the environmental impact of genetically engineered salmon as well as requiring GM salmon to be labeled as such, passed out of the Senate Resources Committee after hearing public comment. That resolution now has 27 co-sponsors in the House and another six in the Senate.

That resolution now goes on the the Senate Rules Committee.

It is widely believed that the FDA completed its draft environmental assessment of the salmon in April, but the application was frozen after it had made its way through all of the required and appropriate agencies. The reason for the stoppage may have been a political one as the elections were quickly approaching and the administration feared that the approval would have infuriated a portion of Obama?s base.

When asked about the holdup on the approval, FDA Spokesperson Siobhan Delancey said to ask the White House and was willing to say no more.



                                  PART 2

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:   ALASKA SENATE SET TO APPROVE ANTI-GENETICALLY-ENGINEERED SALMON RESOLUTION

SOURCE:  Alaska Republic, USA

AUTHOR:  Casey Kelly

URL:     http://www.alaskapublic.org/2013/03/18/alaska-senate-set-to-approve-anti-genetically-engineered-salmon-resolution/

DATE:    18.03.2013

SUMMARY: "A resolution opposing genetically engineered salmon is likely to pass the Alaska Legislature this week. The so-called ?Frankenfish? resolution cleared the Senate Resources Committee on Friday, its last stop before a vote on the Senate floor. The resolution unanimously passed the House about a month ago. Seward High School sophomore Griffin Plush was in Juneau last week with Alaska Youth for Environmental Action. He says a genetically modified fish could escape its holding pen and cause harm to the environment and Alaska fisheries."

----- archive: http://www.genet-info.org/information-services.html -----


ALASKA SENATE SET TO APPROVE ANTI-GENETICALLY-ENGINEERED SALMON RESOLUTION

A resolution opposing genetically engineered salmon is likely to pass the Alaska Legislature this week.

The so-called ?Frankenfish? resolution cleared the Senate Resources Committee on Friday, its last stop before a vote on the Senate floor. The resolution unanimously passed the House about a month ago.

Seward High School sophomore Griffin Plush was in Juneau last week with Alaska Youth for Environmental Action. He says a genetically modified fish could escape its holding pen and cause harm to the environment and Alaska fisheries.

?It would be devastating to fishing communities like Seward, who rely on the salmon population and a healthy salmon population for tourism and the fishing industry,? Plush said.

He had hoped to testify on the anti-Frankenfish measure, but had to leave town before Friday?s hearing.

Masachusetts-based AquaBounty has spent more than $70 million to develop the genetically modified fish, which is an Atlantic salmon with genes from a king salmon and an eel-like fish to make it grow faster.

The company is seeking US Food and Drug Administration approval for the product. A preliminary FDA report says the fish would have no significant impact on the environment.

But Representative Geran Tarr, the Anchorage Democrat who sponsored House Joint Resolution 5, says the FDA doesn?t have enough evidence to back up that finding. If the agency approves AquaBounty?s petition, Tarr says it would be the first time a genetically modified animal product is approved for human consumption.

?This resolution, should we be successful in passing it, will be sent along with a letter and submitted as public comments on behalf of the legislature,? Tarr said. ?And I like to say it?s a great opportunity for Alaskans to speak out in one unified voice, because the Congressional delegation has already spoken out in opposition, the governor has spoken out. So, the legislature kind of fills in that last bit of representation.?

Senator Peter Micciche, a Kenai Republican, is a co-sponsor of the measure on the Senate side. At Friday?s Resources Committee hearing, Micciche said resolution enjoys broad public support.

?I have never, since this came to us several years back, have I ever heard a single statement of support for genetically engineered salmon,? Micciche said.

The FDA is taking public comment on AquaBounty?s petition through April 26th.