Salmon Labeling Provision Likely to Confuse Consumers, Impede Innovation
Washington, D.C. (December 17, 2019) – A rider to the FY2020 Agriculture Appropriations Bill will direct the bioengineered AquAdvantage salmon to carry additional labeling to distinguish it from conventionally raised Atlantic salmon. This could be in addition to the existing requirement provided by the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard.
The following statement can be attributed to BIO president & CEO Jim Greenwood:
“While this provision allows AquAdvantage salmon to finally enter the U.S. marketplace, it’s disappointing that this action calls for a duplicative disclosure mechanism that will only serve to confuse consumers.
“Congress passed the bipartisan Bioengineered Food Disclosure Act in 2016, and USDA issued a final rule in December 2018 aimed at providing consumers with information about their food in a consistent and truthful way. Bioengineered salmon are already explicitly covered by USDA’s rule without this unnecessary provision.
“This also sets a negative precedent for suppressing future innovations that have the potential to improve our food, our health and our planet by providing a template for politicians to impede the commercialization of any new product if it serves their political agenda.
“If Congress allows their own policies to be undermined, predictability in the system will suffer as will investment, innovation, and small business success.”
The AquAdvantage Salmon was developed by Massachusetts-based AquaBounty Technologies, a BIO member. It is genetically engineered to reach its market weight in half the time of conventionally raised salmon while using 25 percent less food, thus contributing to more sustainable aquaculture systems.