- Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) lifted her hold on Dr. Robert Califf's nomination for FDA Director on Thursday.
- The senator said the FDA had assured her that they were taking the genetically modified salmon labeling matter seriously, Morning Consults reports.
- The Senate Health Committee approved Califf's nomination last month. Though nominations cannot be filibustered, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) also placed holds on Califf’s nomination.
In November 2015, the FDA approved genetically modified salmon, which angered Sen. Murkowski because she sees it as a threat to Alaska's wild salmon industry.
“I placed my hold on Dr. Califf’s nomination until my concerns regarding labeling guidelines for GE salmon had been resolved,” Sen. Murkowski said in a statement. “Since then, I have been working closely with the FDA to develop labeling guidelines, and I have received the assurances I need that the FDA is taking this matter seriously.”
In a Senate Health Committee hearing regarding Califf's nomination in November 2015, Senators questioned his ties to the pharmaceutical industry because he oversaw major clinical trials while at Duke university, Healthcare Dive previously reported.
After the Senate Health Committee approved Califf's nomination by voice, presidential candidate Sanders said, "we need a leader at the FDA who is prepared to stand up to the drug companies...Dr. Califf is not that person."
Most Democrats on the Health Committee have expressed support for Califf's nomination.
The Senate will hold a procedural vote on Califf's nomination on February 22.