Labeling of Genetically Engineered Fish – Alaska

In 2005 Alaska enacted legislation that requires the labeling of all products containing genetically engineered fish and shell fish. Senate bill 25, which introduced the legislation states that all genetically engineered fish will be "conspicuously labeled to identify the fish or fish product as a genetically modified fish or fish product," whether packaged or unpackaged.  The law is intended to protect the state’s fishing industry.  

SB 25 was approved unanimously by the House and Senate and was signed into law by the Governor in May. It is the first labeling legislation in the country for genetically modified food.

While the FDA has yet to approve a genetically engineered fish, Alaska is not taking any chances. The law was prompted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s consideration of an application from an aquaculture company to sell genetically-modified, growth enhanced salmon.   And the Center for Food Safety estimates that thirty-five species of genetically modified fish are being developed around the world.

"[The bill’s passage] is a sign that … Alaskans stand up for informed consumers and friends and neighbors working in the wild fish industry," said state Sen. Kim Elton (D), chief sponsor of the legislation.