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FDA nomination moves forward but threat stands

An Alaskan senator has allowed the nomination process for the next commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration to proceed, but may still block confirmation over concerns about genetically modified salmon.

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, which oversees the FDA, voted unanimously on 12 January to send the nomination of Robert Califf to the full Senate for a vote. Senators from both parties have voiced strong support for Califf, who was previously a researcher and administrator at Duke University.

Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, has been outspoken since the FDA approved a GM breed of salmon called AquAdvantage in November 2015. Alaska, her home state, is a major producer of salmon.

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