The fish under consideration is Atlantic salmon, which is given the growth hormone gene of the faster-growing Pacific salmon, along with DNA from the eel-like ocean pout. AquaBounty claims that the resulting AquAvantage salmon reaches maturity at twice the rate of normal Atlantic salmon, and requires 25 per cent less food.
Member of the California Assembly Health Committee, Jared Huffman, presented the bill, AB 88 on 3 May. The bill ruled that any Genetically Engineered (GE) fish sold must be clearly labeled so consumers could have a choice in what they buy and know how their food was produced. The bill was also supported by the Center for Food Safety (CFS).
Rebecca Spector, a director from CFS said: “The FDA has indicated that it will not require these GE fish to be labeled once they are approved. As such, it is incumbent on the California State legislature, starting with the Health Committee, to let the people of California make informed choices about the food they eat by requiring the labeling of GE fish sold in California”.
There has been a large public outcry urging the FDA to decline the AquaBounty application or, if passed, to require mandatory labeling of the salmon.
“Until FDA completes an adequate environmental and human health review of genetically engineered salmon, it is up to individual states to protect consumers and their families,” said Ms. Spector.