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Trade groups tell Congress: Stay out of FDA salmon probe

August 02, 2011|By Andrew Seidman
  • A genetically engineered salmon, background, outweighs an Atlantic salmon of the same age. The Food and Drug Administration is considering whether to approve the altered fish for U.S. consumers to eat.
A genetically engineered salmon, background, outweighs an Atlantic salmon… (Reuters )

A coalition of nearly 30 organizations in the animal agriculture industry sent a letter to the heads of the House and Senate on Tuesday, asking lawmakers not to intervene as the Food and Drug Administration considers whether to approve genetically engineered salmon as food.

The letter comes more than a month after the House approved an amendment, by voice acclamation, to an appropriations bill that would strip the FDA of funding to study the salmon. On July 15, members of the House and Senate sent letters to the FDA asking it to abandon its consideration of modified salmon as food, and threatened to propose legislation to bar further study of the fish if the agency does not comply.

Calling themselves the “Animal Agriculture Coalition,” the industry groups did not take a side in the debate over genetically modified food, but instead implored Congress to respect the principle of science-based regulation.

In the letter, the organizations wrote to Sens. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), as well as House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), that the House legislation “would disrupt the FDA’s congressional mandate to base its assessments of human and animal drugs, devices, vaccines, and process applications on the best-available science underlying an application. Such a disruption would diminish the credibility of the FDA approval process at home and overseas. The global reputation of FDA’s science-based review procedure is based on the Agency’s objectivity.”

The groups include the National Farmers Union, the Animal Health Institute, the American Meat Institute and the American Farm Bureau Federation, among others.



 

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