Murkowski lifts hold on FDA nominee

The FDA could require mandatory labeling for genetically engineered salmon as soon as March.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski has lifted a nomination hold on the nomination of Dr. Richard Califf as U.S. Food and Drug Administration chief, saying the administration has guaranteed mandatory labeling requirements for genetically engineered salmon.

The FDA is not implementing its own guidelines, but providing Murkowski’s office with the necessary language to force it to require mandatory labeling. Murkowski’s office said it plans to introduce a bill in March adding the FDA’s language, and expects little resistance to its passage.

“I placed my hold on Dr. Califf’s nomination until my concerns regarding labeling guidelines for GE salmon had been resolved,” said Murkowski in a release. “Since then, I have been working closely with the FDA to develop labeling guidelines, and I have received the assurances I need that the FDA is taking this matter seriously.”