Legislature(2011 - 2012)CAPITOL 120

02/23/2012 05:00 PM FISHERIES


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 100 BAN CULTIVATION OF GENETICALLY MOD. FISH TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 100(FSH) Out of Committee
*+ HJR 10 OCEAN ACIDIFICATION RESEARCH TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHJR 10(FSH) Out of Committee
        HB 100-BAN CULTIVATION OF GENETICALLY MOD. FISH                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
5:05:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR THOMPSON announced  that the first order  of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE   BILL  NO.  100,   "An  Act  prohibiting   growing  or                                                               
cultivating genetically modified fish in the state."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
5:06:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI,  as  the  prime sponsor  of  the  bill,                                                               
introduced HB  100 and offered some  background on the bill.   He                                                               
explained  that  proposed HB  100  was  "an act  prohibiting  the                                                               
growth and  cultivating of genetically modified  or enhanced fish                                                               
in  the  State of  Alaska."    He  pointed out  that  genetically                                                               
modified  fish  had  become  an   increasing  problem,  with  the                                                               
potential for  it to  be considered  as a food.   He  referred to                                                               
earlier  testimony objecting  to  the cross  of  king salmon  and                                                               
ocean pout,  as the potential  damage was unknown.   He explained                                                               
that   the  proposed   bill  would   prohibit  the   growing  and                                                               
cultivating  of any  genetically modified  fish in  the State  of                                                               
Alaska, in  order to  protect the  wild stock  of salmon  and the                                                               
natural way of life in Alaska.   He pointed to the Alaska Seafood                                                               
Marketing Institute (ASMI) marketing  efforts for wild, untainted                                                               
fish.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
5:08:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MINDY  O'NEALL,  Staff,  Representative  Scott  Kawasaki,  Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature,   explaining  the  concern   for  genetically                                                               
modified fish,  presented a video,  available on  YouTube, titled                                                               
"Stop Frankenfish."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
5:11:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  O'NEALL said  that Alaska  had already  taken some  steps to                                                               
prevent  this  practice in  the  state.    She pointed  out  that                                                               
modified fish had to label as such in Alaska.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
5:12:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON  asked about  the reproductive  capacity of                                                               
the Frankenfish.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  O'NEALL  replied  that,  according  to  the  producers,  the                                                               
modified fish were all female and were 98 percent sterile.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:13:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON, noting  that  the proposed  bill did  not                                                               
allow  growing or  cultivating of  the modified  fish in  Alaska,                                                               
asked if they could be imported.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. O'NEALL replied  that she did not have  any information about                                                               
that.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
5:14:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLER questioned whether  there were concerns for                                                               
possession, sales, or sneaking them in.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. O'NEALL agreed that these  were all potential concerns as the                                                               
FDA  (U.S. Food  and Drug  Administration) had  not yet  ruled on                                                               
genetically  modified fish;  however, the  sale of  any of  these                                                               
fish in Alaska required its being labeled.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLER asked for specifics on live fish.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  O'NEALL, in  response, reported  that  although farmed  fish                                                               
were released into  wild Alaskan streams every year,  there was a                                                               
concern that  genetically modified fish could  also be introduced                                                               
into the wild streams.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
5:15:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR THOMPSON asked if other  countries were raising genetically                                                               
modified fish.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. O'NEALL replied that other  countries were even more hesitant                                                               
and stringent  than the U.S.   She pointed out that  the U.S. was                                                               
the  first  country  to request  regulations  for  production  of                                                               
genetically modified fish.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:16:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON  asked if  the FDA  should be  studying the                                                               
use of genetically modified fish as a food additive.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. O'NEALL directed  attention to a recent  article which called                                                               
for the FDA to change  the specification for genetically modified                                                               
fish, in order to make the evaluation process more public.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:17:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON clarified  that classification  as a  food                                                               
additive required closer scrutiny by the FDA.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
5:18:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN,  directing attention to page  2, line 3                                                               
of  proposed  HB 100,  pointed  out  that  AS 17.20.040  had  two                                                               
definitions for genetically  modified fish.  He  suggested a need                                                               
for a clarification of the definition in the proposed bill.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR THOMPSON opened public testimony.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:20:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAUL SHADURA II, Member,  Kenai Peninsula Fishermen's Association                                                               
(KPFA), testified  that KPFA was  in support of proposed  HB 100.                                                               
He declared  that it was  "extremely important to have  the state                                                               
go  on  record with  their  interest  in protecting  the  natural                                                               
resources to the highest degree."   He expressed concern that, as                                                               
the sterility factor  was not 100 percent, there was  a threat to                                                               
native  fish species.   He  offered his  belief that  genetically                                                               
modified fish  should be classified  as an invasive  species, and                                                               
needed to  comply with  the current  regulations.   He referenced                                                               
the  escape  of farmed  fish  from  British Columbia,  and  cited                                                               
concern for  the introduction  of virus  and disease  to Alaska's                                                               
wild salmon stocks.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
5:23:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GEORGE  PIERCE,  testifying  in   support  of  proposed  HB  100,                                                               
suggested  that it  be  a  worldwide bill.    He  reflected on  a                                                               
documentary  that  had  caused  him  great  concern,  citing  the                                                               
possibilities for escape  and the resulting diseases  in the wild                                                               
salmon stock.  He questioned  whether consumption of the sterile,                                                               
genetically  modified fish  could induce  sterility in  the human                                                               
population.   He declared  that this was  a worldwide  issue, and                                                               
that it was necessary to stop  "messin' with our food chain."  He                                                               
expressed his desire  for the Board of Fish to  also "tune in and                                                               
listen."                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:25:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HEATH  HILYARD,  Executive   Director,  Southeast  Alaska  Guides                                                               
Organization  (SEAGO), testified  in support  of proposed  HB 100                                                               
and  echoed the  same concerns  as  the previous  witnesses.   He                                                               
declared  that there  was  a  threat to  the  wild salmon  stock,                                                               
citing the  quality of the  wild salmon.  He  expressed agreement                                                               
with  an amendment  to more  closely define  genetically modified                                                               
fish, as mentioned earlier by Representative Austerman.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:26:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RICHARD  YAMADA,  Representative,   Alaska  Charter  Association,                                                               
testified in support  of proposed HB 100 and  reported that there                                                               
were several entities attempting  to get approval for genetically                                                               
modified  fish  through  the  FDA.    He  declared  that  a  risk                                                               
assessment had not been performed  for genetically modified fish,                                                               
and that a risk existed for  release of these fish into the wild.                                                               
He described an  outbreak of infectious salmon  anemia (ISA) that                                                               
had infected  a hatchery.   He relayed that a  computer generated                                                               
model had  indicated that should  60 infected salmon  be released                                                               
into  a wild  stock of  60,000 fish,  extinction of  that species                                                               
could occur within  40 generations.  He opined  that 500,000 fish                                                               
had escaped  from salmon farms  in the  Northwest in the  past 10                                                               
years.   He emphasized  that the  risk from  genetically modified                                                               
fish far outweighed  any benefit to the State of  Alaska for food                                                               
production.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
5:31:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLER  asked if these genetically  modified fish,                                                               
growing at an  accelerated rate, would out-compete  wild fish for                                                               
food.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. YAMADA expressed his agreement  that the competition for food                                                               
would be extreme.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLER  asked  if  wild fish  swimming  in  close                                                               
proximity  with  pens  of  confined   fish  were  susceptible  to                                                               
disease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:33:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. YAMADA  confirmed that there  could be  contamination through                                                               
water  transfer;  as  hatcheries required  water  exchange,  even                                                               
filtered water could carry lice and diseases.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLER asked  if there was any  information to the                                                               
effect of genetically modified or  farmed fish on wild fish stock                                                               
in other parts of the world.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. YAMADA replied that he was not aware of any.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
5:34:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON  asked if Mr.  Yamada recommended a  ban on                                                               
the importation of live genetically modified fish.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  YAMADA, in  response, stated  that the  fact of  not raising                                                               
fish would assume that there would be not be any import.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:35:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GERALD  McCUNE,  Lobbyist,  United  Fishermen  of  Alaska  (UFA),                                                               
stated that the  official UFA stance was for the  FDA to prohibit                                                               
permits  for this.   He  offered his  belief that  the technology                                                               
could  be sold  to someone  in closer  proximity to  Alaska.   He                                                               
suggested that, if  permits were approved, it  could be necessary                                                               
for  the fish  to be  labeled, and  not allowed  to be  raised in                                                               
Alaska.  He  offered his belief that  regulations already existed                                                               
to prevent  the import of live  non-native fish or eggs  into the                                                               
State of Alaska.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
5:36:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR THOMPSON reflected  on reports of the  escapement of farmed                                                               
fish which had been caught in Southeast Alaska.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. McCUNE  confirmed that the  Alaska Department of Fish  & Game                                                               
had documentation  of Atlantic salmon  being caught  in Southeast                                                               
Alaska, and as  far north as the Copper River,  which had escaped                                                               
from Canadian fish  farms.  He reflected on  the problems arising                                                               
from farmed fish pens in Canada.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
5:38:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BEN MULLIGAN,  Legislative Liaison,  Alaska Department of  Fish &                                                               
Game,   reported  that   there  were   regulations  banning   the                                                               
importation of live fish under AS 16.05.251.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:39:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   HERRON,  declaring   "frankenfish  is   a  scary                                                               
proposition,"  asked if  it should  be  included specifically  in                                                               
statute.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. MULLIGAN replied that it would not be a bad decision.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON,  reflecting  on the  concerns,  asked  if                                                               
there was any harm to add it to statute.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:41:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR THOMPSON  asked if the definition  for genetically modified                                                               
fish needed to be clarified.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. MULLIGAN suggested that the  definition in AS 17.20.048 could                                                               
be included in the proposed amendment to AS 16.40.210.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
5:42:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON,  reflecting that genetically  modified had                                                               
"been on  the books in some  fashion since 1949" and  that it was                                                               
currently  referred to  as genetically  engineered, asked  if the                                                               
statutes should reference genetically engineered.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. MULLIGAN replied that the wording was interchangeable.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:43:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR THOMPSON closed public testimony.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:43:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI  read  the  definition  for  genetically                                                               
modified fish in AS 17.20.040(b)(2)(A):   "a finfish or shellfish                                                               
whose genetic structure  has been altered at  the molecular level                                                               
by means  that are  not possible under  natural conditions."   He                                                               
noted  that   the  definition  further  included   techniques  to                                                               
genetically modify other species.   He opined that the definition                                                               
for  natural conditions,  which  he had  read  to the  committee,                                                               
would  cover  any  circumstance   for  the  genetically  modified                                                               
organism.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:44:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN  replied that  it was not  his intention                                                               
to redefine, but an addition  of [AS 17.20.040](b)(2)(A) would be                                                               
helpful.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:45:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI  moved to  adopt Conceptual  Amendment 1,                                                               
as follows:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Page 2, line 3, after "AS 17.20.040"                                                                                            
Insert "(b)(2)(A) and (B)"                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:46:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLER,  directing attention to the  definition in                                                               
AS  17.20.040](b)(2)(A),  suggested   that  "created"  should  be                                                               
substituted for "altered."  He  nominated that this was necessary                                                               
for clarity for enforcement.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:47:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  AUSTERMAN   opined  that   a  fish   that  cannot                                                               
reproduce would need to be "altered."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLER  asked  to  clarify  that  the  alteration                                                               
occurred at the egg level, or  the gene level, which was prior to                                                               
its  being a  fish.   He expressed  his desire  to reinforce  the                                                               
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:48:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN moved to report  HB 100, as amended, out                                                               
of   committee   with    individual   recommendations   and   the                                                               
accompanying zero fiscal  notes.  There being  no objection, CSHB
100(FSH)  was  reported  from  the  House  Special  Committee  on                                                               
Fisheries.                                                                                                                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB100- 1 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFSH 2/23/2012 5:00:00 PM
HB 100
HB100- 2 Bill version A.pdf HFSH 2/23/2012 5:00:00 PM
HB 100
HB100- 3 DFG-CO-02-17-12.pdf HFSH 2/23/2012 5:00:00 PM
HB 100
HB100 ADF&G Commercial Fishing Info.pdf HFSH 2/23/2012 5:00:00 PM
HB 100
HB100 ADF&G Fish Prices by lb._2010.pdf HFSH 2/23/2012 5:00:00 PM
HB 100
HB100 ADF&G Salmon Fishery Information.pdf HFSH 2/23/2012 5:00:00 PM
HB 100
HB100 ADN_Kubiak Compass Piece.pdf HFSH 2/23/2012 5:00:00 PM
HB 100
HB100 AKDISPATCH.ARTICLE.PDF HFSH 2/23/2012 5:00:00 PM
HB 100
HB100 AOL News_FDA Hears Frankenfish.pdf HFSH 2/23/2012 5:00:00 PM
HB 100
HB100 Begich-Time Response.PDF HFSH 2/23/2012 5:00:00 PM
HB 100
HB100 Epoch Times_Top 2010 Inventions.pdf HFSH 2/23/2012 5:00:00 PM
HB 100
HB100 FDA Hears Arguments on Frankenfish.pdf HFSH 2/23/2012 5:00:00 PM
HB 100
HB100 Food and Water Watch_Salmon Gone Wrong.pdf HFSH 2/23/2012 5:00:00 PM
HB 100
HB100 GE.Labeling.Oregon.PDF HFSH 2/23/2012 5:00:00 PM
HB 100
HB100 Ltrs of Support.pdf HFSH 2/23/2012 5:00:00 PM
HB 100
HB100 Salmon Gone Wrong.pdf HFSH 2/23/2012 5:00:00 PM
HB 100
HJR 10 CS(FSH) version M.pdf HFSH 2/23/2012 5:00:00 PM
HJR 10
HB100 PR 10-168 Governor Urges Food and Drug Administration to Deny Application to Market Genetically Engineered Salmon 092510.pdf HFSH 2/23/2012 5:00:00 PM
HB 100
HB 100 SeafoodSource com - Petition_ Classify GE salmon as food additive.pdf HFSH 2/23/2012 5:00:00 PM
HB 100
HJR10 LAA Fiscal Note 2-22-12.pdf HFSH 2/23/2012 5:00:00 PM
HJR 10