Kucinich urges FDA to delay decision on genetically modified salmon

Rep. Dennis Kucinich this month is urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to delay a verdict on whether to allow genetically engineered (GE) salmon to hit the market.

The Ohio Democrat, who chairs the House Oversight Committee's domestic policy subpanel, says the current process simply doesn't allow enough time for the public to weigh in.

"Given the magnitude of interest and concern expressed by the public on issues of food safety, food labeling and the environmental impact of GE animals, it is clear that serious and irreversible damage will result if public comment is curtailed," Kucinich wrote earlier this month to FDA Deputy Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein.

The FDA is meeting Monday and Tuesday to decide whether a Massachusetts-based company should be permitted to sell its genetically modified Atlantic salmon, which grows about twice as fast as its wild cousin. If approved, it would be the first genetically modified animal allowed to be sold as food. 

The agency is also weighing whether to force the company to label its salmon as genetically engineered.

Kucinich is sponsor of legislation requiring consumer-friendly labeling when food has been genetically modified.