» This Story:Read +| Comments
Post Politics
New home.
Still the best political coverage.

Senators want review of modified salmon ended

With concern over seafood quality growing as a result of gulf contamination, fish buyers must carefully choose their stock and consider foreign options while trying to work with domestic fishermen.

Network News

X Profile
View More Activity
Discussion Policy
Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 28, 2010; 10:14 PM

Eleven senators, mostly from coastal states, urged the Food and Drug Administration Tuesday to stop moving forward with the approval process for a genetically modified Atlantic salmon.

This Story

Led by Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), the senators complained to FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg that the agency is using the wrong process for evaluating the safety of the modified fish and that the public is being left out.

The fish, named the AquAdvantage salmon by the biotech company seeking federal approval to market it, is an Atlantic salmon that has been given a growth hormone from a Chinook salmon and a gene from an eel-like ocean pout, which allows it to grow twice as fast as a wild Atlantic salmon. It would be the first genetically modified animal approved for human consumption in the United States.

Begich said the FDA is incorrectly treating the request for approval of AquAdvantage salmon as if it were a new veterinary drug and not as a new animal that humans consume. Under the current process, the company is allowed to keep private some of the data it submits to the FDA on the grounds that it is classified business information.

Serious health and environmental questions regarding the fish cannot be adequately evaluated by the public, Begich wrote.

Other senators who signed the letter were Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.).

An agency spokeswoman said the FDA will "respond directly to the members of Congress."

» This Story:Read +| Comments

More in the Politics Section

Campaign Finance -- Presidential Race

2008 Fundraising

See who is giving to the '08 presidential candidates.

Latest Politics Blog Updates

© 2010 The Washington Post Company

Network News

X My Profile