Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Chairman, I fully support this legislation, but I am concerned that there is some problems with it on a technical nature that ought to be called to the attention of this House.
In the eligible activities section of the bill, salmon-related research and salmon supplementation and enhancement are two areas that I want to alert the Members of this House.
These are two areas that could be applied to genetic engineering and to genetic engineering research. My amendment perfects this bill to ensure that salmon for purposes of this legislation does not include genetically engineered varieties. However, the amendment explicitly addresses that this does not impact traditional breeding at fish hatcheries. We make sure that is excluded.
Allowing the diversion of Federal money for research into this technology may only exacerbate the environmental challenge of protecting Pacific salmon. There are already over 35 species of genetically engineered fish currently being developed around the world.
Genetically engineered fish contain genes from fish, from humans, and from insects. According to several fish ecologists from the University of Minnesota and Purdue University, there may be negative environmental impact [Page: H3090]
on wild populations of fish. Studies show that genetically engineered fish are more aggressive, consume more food, and attract more mates than wild fish.
These studies also show that GE fish will attract more mates, their offspring will be less fit, and less likely to survive. As a result, some scientists predict that genetically engineered fish will cause some species to become extinct within only a few generations.
No Federal environmental laws specifically govern the regulation of genetically engineered fish. Concerned about the lack of existing law specifically covered genetically engineered fish, the State of Maryland recently passed a law imposing a moratorium on the growing of genetically engineered fish in State waterways that flow into other bodies of water.