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Murkowski seeks safeguards against 'Frankenfish'

Alaska Dispatch

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Thursday filed an amendment requiring the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to ensure genetically-modified fish pose no risks.

While the FDA is already examining the biological risks associated with what’s come to be dubbed “Frankenfish,” no separate analysis is planned looking at the impact of genetically modified fish escaping into the ocean. Murkowski’s amendment would require that.

“We need to look before we leap here -- and make that long hard look,” Murkowski said in a press release.  “This means that we not only make sure that genetically-engineered salmon is healthy to put in our bodies and doesn’t endanger our fishery resources, but also that it is healthy to our coastal environments.

“Alaska produces more than half the nation’s seafood, and constructing fish in a lab is a science experiment that adds a new variable to the equation – we need to fill in all the blanks before we put Frankenfish on our plates.”

Murkowski’s legislation was co-sponsored by Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), and four other senators. Last year, the U.S. House of Representatives blocked the Food and Drug Administration from approving a genetically modified salmon for human consumption.