Federal Issue Brief

 H.R. 521/S. 230, To amend the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to prevent the approval of genetically-engineered fish

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AVMA Position:



This legislation would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to deem genetically-engineered fish to be unsafe under provisions related to new animal drugs and adulterated food.


Review of scientific literature by multiple parties, include the Food and Drug Administration, has provided no indication that genetically engineered fish pose an increased food safety hazard beyond that of farmed fish. H.R. 521/ S. 230 is also inconsistent with AVMA policy, "Use of Biotechnology in Veterinary Medicine and Animal Agriculture," which states that the use of biotechnology should not be restricted so long as it does not negatively impact the integrity of the environment and the health, safety, and well-being of the resulting animals, the animals receiving or consuming the resulting products, or the consumers of animal products. The AVMA supports a science-based regulatory policy for the approval of products developed through biotechnology.

Current Status:

H.R. 521 was introduced 2/15/11 and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health. S. 230 was introduced on 1/31/11 and referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

AVMA Contact:

Dr. Ashley S. Morgan, 202-289-3210