The senior senator for Connecticut — a state with the nation's first labeling law for genetically modified foods — decried a recent decision by federal regulators deeming GMO salmon as safe for human consumption.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration this month ruled that the salmon, which was created by a Massachusetts company, can be sold in the U.S.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal said in a statement that the FDA action "opens the floodgates to more modified meats and seafood being sold nationwide without a label."
"Consumers have a right to know whether their food has been genetically engineered so they can make informed choices about what they eat and purchase," he said. "FDA's action is a major step backward for transparency, making it all the more urgent for Congress to act now to require clear, consistent, and mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods."
FDA has approved many GMO crops, from corn to soybeans, over the past 19 years.
Though a number of studies have not found increased health risks from consumption of GMO foods, opponents, including the Connecticut group Citizens For GMO Labeling, have argued that consumers have a right to know what they are buying and eating.
"Because of the lack of labeling, this genetically engineered salmon will be on your plates without you ever knowing," the Connecticut group wrote in a blog post last week. "To make matters worse, the FDA approval process relies on safety and environmental assessments provided by the manufacturer benefiting from the sale of these genetically engineered salmon, Massachusetts-based AquaBounty Technologies."
Connecticut passed a GMO labeling law in 2013, but it contained a provision that would delay its effective date until Northeast states with a combined population of 20 million people adopt similar laws, according to the Connecticut Mirror.
Originally Published: Hartford Business