- In Oregon, House Bill 4122, which would require labeling for GMO salmon, died in the Senate Committee on Health Care. The committee failed to act on the bill by the Feb. 23 deadline.
- The committee's chair voiced support for the bill but said the committee wasn't given sufficient time to discuss it during the current short legislative session. The GMO salmon labeling issue is expected to resurface in the next session.
- Critics, however, said the bill was premature because the FDA is still considering whether it will impose federal labeling guidelines for GMO salmon, which would render the bill's provisions moot.
While Congress and the FDA remain in debate regarding GMO labeling, states are voicing their support for labeling by passing their own bills in the interim. New York is another state with a GMO salmon labeling bill on the docket. Alaska passed its own law requiring GMO fish labeling more than a decade ago, but now the state is also looking to ban the sale of GMO fish or fish products.
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) has introduced a bill to impose a national voluntary GMO labeling standard, similar to the bill passed through the House last year. A stalemate in the Senate means the Vermont mandatory GMO labeling bill would go into effect unchallenged by the federal government. If that happens, manufacturers will have to adapt to Vermont's law and any other state GMO labeling laws that pass before Congress can come to an agreement on the issue.
With GMO salmon labeling, the FDA is in the same position if it can't decide quickly whether the agency will require GMO salmon labeling or what those requirements would entail.