Critics call it “frankenfish,” a genetically engineered salmon the Food and Drug Administration says is safe to eat, but some Hawaii lawmakers don’t want it here in the islands.

Rep. Kaniela Ing introduced a bill that would ban the marketing and farming of genetically engineered salmon in Hawaii.

The fish is genetically modified with traces of the ocean pout, a type of eel which has a type of “anti-freeze” quality, allowing it to live in various temperatures.

Lawmakers are worried about the fish’s impact to wild salmon populations, and that not enough studies were done on the consumption safety.

“Scientists and those involved in the industry should try to explain to the public exactly how and why it’s safe for us, so if anything, the hearing will get that out at least for everybody in the open,” said Rep. Ing, (D) Kihei, Wailea, Makena. “In Hawaii, you know, we rely on the ocean, it’s safe and sustained all aspects of our life, from recreation, to the food we eat, even the air we breathe.”

A public hearing on the bill is scheduled for Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. at the state capitol.


Originally Published: KHON 2