Members of Indiana’s Republican congressional delegation have sent a letter to the U.S. House and Senate Appropriations Committees in support of AquaBounty Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: AQB). Senator Todd Young’s (R-IN) office says the letter voices “concern against provisions and unnecessary regulatory requirements that unfairly target bioengineered salmon,” including those produced at AquaBounty’s facility in Albany.
The letter says such action against Indiana-grown salmon could put Hoosier jobs at risk. Bioengineered salmon, according to the letter, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2015.
AquaBounty itself received FDA approval in 2018 to raise its AquAdvantage Salmon at its Albany facility. However, the company had to wait until the FDA lifted an Import Alert that prevented it from shipping its salmon eggs from Canada. That alert was lifted in March 2019 and production began a few months later.
The letter says AquaBounty’s bioengineered salmon are already subject to disclosure requirements by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. However, a provision of the the FY2020 Further Consolidated Appropriations Act would impose “additional and different labeling requirements” for the salmon, which the delegation says undermines the USDA and FDA and creates confusion for customers.
“Provisions unfairly targeting the bioengineered salmon due to reasons other than safety and efficacy are not based on science, sound policy, or law, and would impose undue regulatory burdens that ultimately waste taxpayer dollars without any benefit to the public,” the letter states. “Further, this action sends the wrong message to industries that are working to develop innovations in agricultural biotechnology and food security. Indiana plays a key role in the agricultural industry and strongly values the possibilities that aquaculture and biotechnology bring to our economy.”
The letter says any provision that unfairly targets bioengineered salmon through “unnecessary regulatory requirements on the marketing or distribution of the product” would harm the state and the future of biotechnology.
“This has adversely impacted not only AquaBounty, but it also has had a chilling effect on innovation and investment across the bioengineered food industry, delaying research and development of new technologies in food and agriculture as well as job creation in places like Indiana.”
You can read the full letter by clicking here.