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Peculiar FDA Rules Prevent Consumers From Identifying GM Salmon

September 18, 2010: 12:05 PM EST

Thanks to a quirk in FDA regulations on genetically modified food labeling, anxious consumers may not be able to tell whether the salmon they’re buying is conventional or GM, unless the producer voluntarily labels it as such. If the FDA rules that the fast-growing GM Atlantic salmon called AquAdvantage is not “materially” different from conventional salmon, it cannot require the producer to apply a GM label. The situation worries consumer advocates, because other GM food products, including beef and pork, are in the queue seeking FDA approval. The salmon case would be the first time a GM food is okayed for marketing in the U.S. and would therefore set a major precedent. The biotechnology industry opposes mandatory labeling, saying it would only confuse consumers.

Lyndsey Layton, "FDA rules won't require labeling of genetically modified salmon", The Washington Post, September 18, 2010, © The Washington Post Company
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