The sprawling federal spending bill unveiled this week on Capitol Hill included a small passage with potentially big implications in the food world.

In two paragraphs on page 106, lawmakers instructed the Food and Drug Administration to forbid the sale of genetically engineered salmon until the agency puts in place labeling guidelines and "a program to disclose to consumers" whether a fish has been genetically altered. The language comes just a month after FDA made salmon the first genetically modified animal approved for human consumption and represents a victory for advocates who have long opposed such foods from reaching Americans' dinner plates. At the very least, they say, consumers ought to know what they are buying.

The fish in the spotlight is the AquAdvantage salmon, produced by Massachusetts-based AquaBounty. The Atlantic salmon contains a growth hormone from a Chinook salmon and a gene from the ocean pout -- a combination to help it grow large enough for consumption in 18 months instead of the typical three years.

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