The U.S. Food and Drug Administration held a hearing Tuesday as it considers genetically engineered salmon for human consumption. The hearing specifically focused on the food labeling policies that might be made for the AquAdvantage Salmon.
Speakers included AquaBounty Technologies Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ron Stotish; Alison L. Van Eenennaam of the University of California Davis; and Abby Brandel, Associate Chief Counsel at Food and Drug Administration
Consumer protection advocates said food should be labeled as such if it derives from a genetically modified organism. AquaBounty, on the other hand, argued that genetically modified salmon should not be required to display additional labeling as it has the same qualities as the non-GMO Atlantic salmon.
“I think we all can understand the label can play an important role in consumer purchase decisions and dietary choices,” said Abby Brandel. She added that “the FDA may not be able to require this information, it's important to note that a company can choose to include this information on a food label [or] can choose to provide the information about whether a food is or is not made from a GE organism.”
Currently, the FDA does not require special labeling for foods developed using recombinant DNA techniques.
Alison L. Van Eenennaam questioned the push for labeling, “…when we do not have or require analogous information on the fish we currently consume.”
The final verdict on GMO salmon’s place in the consumer marketplace has not been made.
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