A member of Alaska's state government is meeting with P.E.I. politicians Thursday to share concerns over genetically-modified salmon.

Representative Geran Tarr doesn't want the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve AquaBounty's fast-growing salmon. AquaBounty's GM fish grow at twice the rate of regular salmon. One of the company's facilities is in Bay Fortune, P.E.I.

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AquaBounty says its fish, shown here prepared for cooking, does not need to be labelled because it is not significantly different from Atlantic salmon. (AquaBounty)

Tarr launched a resolution last month in Alaska calling on the FDA to require more research before approval, or at least require AquaBounty salmon be labelled GMO. That motion was supported unanimously in both the house of representatives and the senate.

Tarr told CBC News the sale of genetically-modified salmon could economically devastate her state's $500-million wild fishery.

"In the early 90s, when farmed salmon really took off, our wild salmon industry took a big hit, and prices dropped significantly and really threatened the livelihood of folks," said Tarr.

"I think that's why the labelling is that much more important, should something move forward, because people really need to be able to make that choice about what product they're buying and know what product their buying."

The FDA has already established, in court, that the fact a food has been genetically modified isn't enough to warrant labelling. AquaBounty salmon would only require a special label if it were significantly different from other Atlantic salmon, and the FDA review has already found it's not.

Tarr hopes Islanders will write the FDA to encourage more study of these fish. In December, the regulator announced a more in-depth environmental study of the fish will be not be required, after a review found there is no significant risk.

The opportunity to comment on that decision ends April 26.

Corrections

  • This story previously reported the deadline for FDA submissions is April 27. It is, in fact, April 26.
    Apr 22, 2013 11:47 AM AT