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Oregon Set to Ban Genetically Modified Salmon and Mandate GMO Labeling

May 21, 2013

The state of Oregon has introduced a trio of legislative bills requiring that all genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) be properly labeled, as well as prohibiting the import and sale of GM salmon, the first transgenic animal to ever be preliminarily approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for human consumption.

H.B. 2175, whose chief sponsor is Representative Deborah Boone (D-Cannon Beach), provides that all foods containing or made with genetically-engineered (GE) material be properly labeled in the state of Oregon. Beginning on January 1, 2014, any food products made with or containing GMOs that are not properly labeled will be deemed misbranded, and their manufacturer(s) held liable for breaking the state's food labeling requirements.

Additionally, H.B. 2530 prohibits GE salmon not only from being cultivated and farmed within the state of Oregon, but also from being imported and sold there. In the event that H.B. 2530 is not passed, H.B. 3177 is waiting in the wings as a backup. This bill, which was proposed by both Rep. Paul Holvey (D-Eugene) and Rep. David Gomberg (D-Central Coast), proposes to require that GE salmon be properly labeled. Like H.B. 2175, H.B. 3177 designates that all GE salmon sold without a proper label is misbranded, and thus in violation of the law.

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