The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned the import of genetically engineered (GE) salmon just two months after deeming

AquaBounty Technologies, Inc.’s AquAdvantage® salmon safe for human consumption. Issued in compliance with the Fiscal Year 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Act, the January 29, 2016, import alert directs that “any shipment of suspected or known GE salmon or product composed in whole or in part of GE salmon should be promptly forwarded to the District Compliance Branch.”

Although AquaBounty Technologies produces GE salmon at fish farms based in Canada and Panama, the company has not yet sold its product  in the United States. But after FDA ruled that the salmon posed no envi- ronmental or human health risks, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) moved to block confirmation proceedings for the next FDA commissioner until the agency required labeling for all products containing GE salmon. “This is a huge step in our fight against ‘Frankenfish.’ I adamantly oppose the FDA’s misguided decision to allow GE salmon to be placed in our kitchens and on our tables, and I firmly believe that mandatory labeling guidelines must be put in place as soon as possible so consumers know what it is they are purchasing,” said Murkowski in a January 29 press release. “It seems that the FDA has begun to listen, and I hope this is a sign that the agency plans to develop these necessary guidelines.” See Sen. Murkowksi Press Release, January 12, 2016.

Additional details about FDA’s approval of AquaBounty Technologies’ AquAdvantage salmon appear in Issue 585 of this Update.