FDA OKs Import of Genetically Engineered Salmon

WebMD Health News

MONDAY, March 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- An import alert that prevented genetically engineered salmon from entering the United States has been lifted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

In 2015, the FDA deemed the AquaAdvantage Salmon safe, marking the first U.S. approval of a genetically engineered animal intended for food, CNN reported.

But in 2016, Congress said the salmon could not be sold in the United States until the FDA finalized labeling guidelines to inform consumers the product was genetically engineered. That's when the FDA implemented the import alert, CNN reported.

Also in 2016, Congress passed a law directing the U.S. Department of Agriculture to set a national mandatory standard for disclosing bioengineered foods. That standard was issued last December.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said because of the 2016 law and the USDA's new standard, the FDA "no longer has the authority to issue labeling guidance," CNN reported.

"However, the FDA believes this Congressional mandate has been satisfied by the USDA's issuance of final regulations implementing that law in late 2018 because the law and regulations require that human food containing GE [genetically engineered] salmon bear labeling indicating that it is bioengineered," Gottlieb said in a statement.

The FDA will now permit importation of AquaAdvantage Salmon eggs, produced by AquaBounty, to the company's facility in Indiana to be raised into salmon for food, CNNreported.

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