Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205
02/23/2005 03:30 PM RESOURCES
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ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE SENATE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE February 23, 2005 3:32 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Thomas Wagoner, Chair Senator Fred Dyson Senator Bert Stedman Senator Kim Elton MEMBERS ABSENT Senator Ralph Seekins, Vice Chair Senator Ben Stevens Senator Gretchen Guess COMMITTEE CALENDAR SENATE BILL NO. 25 "An Act relating to labeling and identification of genetically modified fish and fish products." MOVED SB 25 OUT OF COMMITTEE CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 6(FSH) Relating to the labeling of fish and shellfish to identify the country of origin and to distinguish between wild and farmed fish and shellfish. MOVED CSHJR 6(FSH) OUT OF COMMITTEE PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION BILL: SB 25 SHORT TITLE: GENETICALLY MODIFIED FISH SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) ELTON, STEVENS G 01/11/05 (S) PREFILE RELEASED 12/30/04 01/11/05 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS 01/11/05 (S) L&C, RES 02/01/05 (S) L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211 02/01/05 (S) -- Meeting Rescheduled to 02/08/05 -- 02/08/05 (S) L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211 02/08/05 (S) Moved SB 25 Out of Committee 02/08/05 (S) MINUTE(L&C) 02/09/05 (S) L&C RPT 4DP 1NR 02/09/05 (S) NR: BUNDE 02/09/05 (S) DP: ELLIS, DAVIS, SEEKINS, STEVENS B 02/23/05 (S) RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205 BILL: HJR 6 SHORT TITLE: LABELING OF FISH /SHELLFISH PRODUCTS SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) KERTTULA 01/19/05 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS 01/19/05 (H) FSH, RES 01/26/05 (H) FSH AT 8:30 AM CAPITOL 124 01/26/05 (H) -- Meeting Canceled -- 01/26/05 (H) RES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 124 01/26/05 (H) Scheduled But Not Heard 01/31/05 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 01/31/05 (H) -- Meeting Canceled -- 02/02/05 (H) FSH RPT CS(FSH) NT 6DP 02/02/05 (H) DP: HARRIS, ELKINS, SALMON, WILSON, THOMAS, LEDOUX 02/02/05 (H) FSH AT 8:30 AM CAPITOL 124 02/02/05 (H) Moved CSHJR 6(FSH) Out of Committee 02/02/05 (H) MINUTE(FSH) 02/09/05 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 02/09/05 (H) Moved CSHJR 6(FSH) Out of Committee 02/09/05 (H) MINUTE(RES) 02/11/05 (H) RES RPT CS(FSH) NT 7DP 02/11/05 (H) DP: OLSON, GATTO, SEATON, LEDOUX, ELKINS, SAMUELS, RAMRAS 02/14/05 (H) TRANSMITTED TO (S) 02/14/05 (H) VERSION: CSHJR 6(FSH) 02/16/05 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS 02/16/05 (S) RES 02/23/05 (S) RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205 WITNESS REGISTER Dennis Kelso University of California Santa Cruz POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 26. Representative Kerttula Alaska State Capitol Juneau, AK 99801-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor or HJR 6. Tabatha Williams, Intern Representative Kerttula Alaska State Capitol Juneau, AK 99801-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on HJR 6 for sponsor. ACTION NARRATIVE CHAIR THOMAS WAGONER called the Senate Resources Standing Committee meeting to order at 3:32:25 PM. Senators Elton, Stedman, Dyson and Chair Wagoner were present. SB 25-GENETICALLY MODIFIED FISH CHAIR WAGONER announced SB 25 to be up for consideration. SENATOR ELTON said Senator Gary Stevens is co-sponsor of SB 25. It requires that genetically modified finfish or shellfish sold in Alaska be identified on the label if it is sold at the retail level. Right now only an aquarium fish has been approved for sale at the retail level, but the FDA has an application pending from a US/Canadian firm that wants to produce GM Atlantic salmon for human consumption and to sell the eggs from them to other fish farmers around the world. He said that other jurisdictions around the world will be making decisions on whether or not to allow GM fish and it won't be economic to deny it. Alaskans will be able to make informed purchase decisions at the retail level and the required labeling will allow marketers of Alaskan seafood products to draw an even brighter line between wild and natural Alaska fish and industrially produced fish for human consumption. 3:36:30 PM DENNIS KELSO, University of California Santa Cruz, supported SB 25 and said his research focuses on the effects of global production of GM fish on Alaska's wild salmon. Genetically modified fish will be the most active area for development of the GM technology. He thought that this is a consumer choice bill that equips Alaskan consumers with the knowledge of what kind of seafood and production practice they can chose to support. 3:38:54 PM SENATOR STEDMAN said SB 25 has the unanimous support of the Salmon Industry Task Force. 3:39:57 PM SENATOR DYSON moved to pass SB 25 from committee with attached fiscal note and individual recommendations. There were no objections and it was so ordered. 3:40:15 PM Recess 3:41:25 PM CSHJR 6(FSH)-LABELING OF FISH /SHELLFISH PRODUCTS CHAIR WAGONER announced CSHJR 6(FSH) to be up for consideration. REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA, sponsor, said there are currently labeling requirements for country of origin and wild and farmed salmon. Unfortunately, the USDA is thinking of removing processed fish from those requirements. That includes canned, smoked and pouched products. She thinks this is wrong and that people should still be able to benefit from labeling. 3:42:55 PM TABATHA WILIAMS, intern working for Representative Kerttula, said she is from a fishing family and said that the fishing industry provides many jobs for Alaskans and that even the tourist industry depends on the Alaska seafood industry's reputation to attract its clientele. Farmed fish has been linked to cancer-causing toxins and high mercury levels. We don't want our wild and healthy salmon to be associated with the notoriously bad press farmed fish has earned over the recent years. 3:44:38 PM SENATOR ELTON moved to pass CSHJR 6(FSH), version F, from committee with attached fiscal notes and individual recommendations. There were no objections and it was so ordered. There was nothing else to come before the committee and Chair Wagoner adjourned the meeting at 3:45:05 PM.