Transgenic Sheep Transgenic Chickens Transgenic Pigs
"If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it"
If producers of GMOs believe their plants are different enough from normal plants to obtain and enforce patents then these same plants and their produce are different enough from normal food to require labeling that identifies them as such.
We have a great product, only stupid customers don't want to buy it - say British GMO producers.
Oh Oh .... Oh.... Sept 2019
Something unintended happened...
also search: transgenic mosquito brazil
Are We Not Men? By T. Coraghessan Boyle
ALSO note the interview:
This Week in Fiction: T. Coraghessan Boyle on the Perils of Genetic Manipulation
By Deborah Treisman
Your story in this week’s issue, “Are We Not Men?,” envisions a time in which CRISPR has gone mainstream, and animals and babies are genetically engineered. Do you foresee this actually happening?
It’s already here. Some of the fanciful creatures mentioned in the story actually exist, as, for example, the supercow and the micropig, not to mention many of the genetically modified crops we consume.
What I think or you think or what concerned molecular embryologists around the world think really doesn’t matter. The technology exists. It will be used, and used in ways we can barely conceive of at this juncture. Who could argue with editing out congenital diseases? What a boon to humanity! The problem is, what comes next? ...more? go to the New Yorker.
Transgenics prosper amidst pragmatism and collateral damage. The expansion of agricultural biotechnology in South America has occurred under governments described as progressive, and has fuelled a debate between those who see it as scientific and economic progress and those who stress the social, environmental and political damage caused.Tierramerica, Latin America. 21 May 2014.
Monsanto, Syngenta, other pesticide, crop companies give $455,000 to fight Jackson County GMO measure.Six pesticide and plant biotechnology firms have donated $455,000 to the campaign fighting a measure on the May ballot in Jackson County that would ban some genetically modified crops. Portland Oregonian, Oregon. 4 April 2014.
Transgenic trees make easy-chew wood for biofuels. The poplars in the greenhouse near John Ralph's laboratory show no outward signs of weakness, but they have a secret soft spot. Thanks to genetic engineering, their wood contains an artificial molecule that makes it more easily dissolved by chemicals. Nature. 4 April 2014.
ARE NOT SAFE: http://www.ensser.org/increasing-public-information/no-scientific-consensus-on-gmo-
New efforts to force labeling of foods made with genetically-modified crops, including a bill introduced by U.S. lawmakers Wednesday, havestruck a nerve with biotech crop developers who say they are rushing to roll out a broad strategy to combat consumer concerns about their products. Reuters. 26 April 2013.
Special to the people at AAAS who came out against labeling GM foods in California:
I was a member of AAAS and last year let the membership lapse. I had been considering renewing but now you can forget it.
Your group at AAAS can K.M.AAAS.
THE LACK OF ANY REAL TESTING, LONGER TERM "INDEPENDENT" TESTING OF GM THINGS PUT INTO THE ENVIRONMENT IS CLEAR.
RS, Producer of Transgenic.
The Institute for Responsible Technology is a world leader in educating policy makers and the public about genetically modified (GM) foods and crops. We investigate and report their risks and impact on health, environment, the economy, and agriculture, as well as the problems associated with current research, regulation, corporate practices, and reporting.
Important book on Transgenic manipulation of life:
Why Is the State Department Using Our Money to Pimp for Monsanto?
The State Department is using taxpayer money to help force genetically modified crops on other countries.
My recent attendance at AAAS in Washington gave me an even greater sense of the staggering complexity of “the web of life” all living things are in. There are enormous areas of knowing how things work and work together that our science today is only getting a beginners sense about. Human ignorance remains vast as hubris grows.
I still think and believe that: Tinkering with this web to “Make it better” is not going to turn out for the better.
June 8 2011 Chinese scientists have genetically modified dairy cows to produce human breast milk, and hope to be selling it in supermarkets within three years.
The milk produced by the transgenic cows is identical to the human variety and has the same immune-boosting and antibacterial qualities as breast milk, scientists at China's Agricultural University in Beijing say.
The transgenic herd of 300 was bred by inserting human genes into cloned cow embryos which were then implanted into surrogate cows.
The technology was similar to that used to produce Dolly the sheep.
The milk is still undergoing safety tests but with government permission it will be sold to consumers as a more nutritious dairy drink than cow's milk.
USDA deregulates GMO corn engineered to produce fuel, not food
(NaturalNews) Right on the heels of the USDA's decision to deregulate GM alfalfa, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has now decided to completely deregulate genetically engineered corn used for ethanol production. This is just the latest Frankenfood horror unleashed by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, who has firmly established himself as the regulatory puppet of Monsanto and other GMO giants.
The public spin on this decision is that it will allow the growing of corn engineered to produce more ethanol fuel, thereby improving the efficiency in the conversion of corn to fuel. This claim is, of course, scientifically invalid on so many levels that it's difficult to know where to begin. But I'll take a shot at it... Learn more
The genetically engineered technology is licensed by Monsanto to the seed maker Forage Genetics International, which is owned by Land-O-Lakes.
Announcing the decision Thursday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, "After conducting a thorough and transparent examination of alfalfa through a multi-alternative environmental impact statement and several public comment opportunities, the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that Roundup Ready alfalfa is as safe as traditionally bred alfalfa."
The expected impact of the decision is far reaching, particularly to organic farmers. Christine Bushway, executive director and CEO of the Organic Trade Association, said the decision threatens the $26.6 billion a year organic food industry that employs tens of thousands of people around the country, and helps keep at least 14,540 family farms in business. Except for 2009, the organic industry has experienced double digit growth annually for over a decade.
"This creates a perplexing situation when the market calls for a supply of crops free of genetic engineering," Bushway said. "The organic standards prohibit the use of genetic engineering, and consumers will not tolerate the accidental presence of genetic engineered materials in organic products yet GE crops continue to proliferate unchecked."
Center for Food Safety Executive Director Andrew Kimbrell said his organization will reactivate its lawsuit against the USDA's approval of GE alfalfa. The case has been on hold while the USDA completed its court-ordered Final Environmental Impact Statement, FEIS.
Over 250,000 public comments were received during the FEIS process, the vast majority opposing deregulation.
9th Circuit blocks immediate sugar beet destruction
By WES SANDER Capital Press
A federal appeals court has blocked immediate destruction of the root crop for biotech sugar beets.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stayed an injunction granted on Nov. 30 by federal Judge Jeffrey White. White had ordered that beet stecklings, the root stock for eventual seed-producing plants, must be plowed under by Dec. 14.
The process was to have started late Tuesday with official notices from USDA to the seed companies. The stay freezes White's order until Dec. 23, giving USDA time to appeal White's decision. The 9th Circuit has set a briefing schedule that extends into February.
Stecklings are normally removed for transplanting in January and February.
In early September, USDA issued permits to four seed companies to plant the stecklings. The permits came three weeks after White revoked the federal deregulation of beet seeds containing Monsanto Co.'s Roundup Ready trait, pending a new environmental study.
The Center for Food Safety, Organic Seed Alliance, the Sierra Club and High Mowing Organic Seeds sued to revoke the permits, saying they defied the deregulation ruling. The plaintiffs asked White for an injunction to uproot the stecklings before the case progressed.
The 'Creepy' Science Behind GM Salmon
BY JILL RICHARDSON | SEP 17, 2010
When the FDA announced just before Labor Day that it found the
genetically engineered AquAdvantage salmon safe, news headlines and even Alaska
Senator Mark Begich called it a "frankenfish." A closer look at AquAdvantage
makes it seem unlikely that Mary Shelley could have ever dreamed up anything as
wild as the fast-growing GE salmon. Even more worrisome is the science used to
justify the salmon's safety, which Consumers Union senior scientist Michael
Hansen calls "sloppy," "misleading," and "woefully inadequate."
"Tastes just like chicken!!"
Development of More Muscular Trout Could Boost Commercial Aquaculture
A 10-year effort by a scientist to develop transgenic rainbow trout with enhanced muscle growth has yielded fish with what have been described as six-pack abs and muscular shoulders that could ... > full story
Fury as Brussels
authorises GM potatoes
by Staff Writers Brussels (AFP) March 2, 2010
The European Commission on Tuesday approved the cultivation of genetically-modified potatoes, prompting an angry response from environmental campaign groups and two EU member governments.
Austria said it was planning an immediate ban on the potatoes' cultivation, while Italy's agriculture minister slammed the commission's decision and vowed to defend "traditional agriculture and citizens' health".
The first approval of genetically modified foods in Europe for 12 years was criticised by Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth as a threat to human health, though the Amflora potatoes developed by German chemical giant BASF will not be for human consumption.
A spokeswoman for Austria's health ministry told AFP: "(Health) Minister Alois Stoeger is preparing a document banning the cultivation of genetically-modified potatoes." more
· Greenpeace denounces UN support for GM crops in Mexico.
The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization is supporting the introduction of transgenic, or genetically modified, crops in Mexico and other developing nations, the Greenpeace chapter in that country denounced. EFE.
· The spread of GM crops: Taking root.
A decade ago, the future of genetically modified crops was uncertain and poor countries seemed likely to be left behind. However, according to a new report, the sector is blossoming - especially in the developing world, where poor and unproductive farmers have the most to gain from such advances. Economist.
A clear negative impact on the function of these organs in rats consuming GM maize varieties for just 90 days.
Research Paper A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health International Journal of Biological Sciences 2009; 5(7):706-726
Patho-physiological profiles are unique for each GM crop/food, underlining the necessity for a case-by-case evaluation of their safety, as is largely admitted and agreed by regulators. It is not possible to make comments concerning any general, similar subchronic toxic effect for all GM foods. However, in the three GM maize varieties that formed the basis of this investigation, new side effects linked to the consumption of these cereals were revealed, which were sex- and often dose-dependent.
Effects were mostly concentrated in kidney and liver function, the two major diet detoxification organs, but in detail differed with each GM type. In addition, some effects on heart, adrenal, spleen and blood cells were also frequently noted. As there normally exists sex differences in liver and kidney metabolism, the highly statistically significant disturbances in the function of these organs, seen between male and female rats, cannot be dismissed as biologically insignificant as has been proposed by others .
We therefore conclude that our data strongly suggests that these GM maize varieties induce a state of hepatorenal toxicity. This can be due to the new pesticides (herbicide or insecticide) present specifically in each type of GM maize, although unintended metabolic effects due to the mutagenic properties of the GM transformation process cannot be excluded .
All three GM maize varieties contain a distinctly different pesticide residue associated with their particular GM event (glyphosate and AMPA in NK 603, modified Cry1Ab in MON 810, modified Cry3Bb1 in MON 863). These substances have never before been an integral part of the human or animal diet and therefore their health consequences for those who consume them, especially over long time periods are currently unknown. Furthermore, any side effect linked to the GM event will be unique in each case as the site of transgene insertion and the spectrum of genome wide mutations will differ between the three modified maize types. In conclusion, our data presented here strongly recommend that additional long-term (up to 2 years) animal feeding studies be performed in at least three species, preferably also multi-generational, to provide true scientifically valid data on the acute and chronic toxic effects of GM crops, feed and foods. Our analysis highlights that the kidneys and liver as particularly important on which to focus such research as there was a clear negative impact on the function of these organs in rats consuming GM maize varieties for just 90 days.
Experimental planting scheme has insufficient controls to prevent gene flow to native crops, critcs say.
Mexico doesn't have an adequate system to monitor or protect natural maize (corn) varieties from transgenes, say prominent scientists concerned about the experimental planting of genetically modified crops.
In the past month, Monsanto and Dow AgriSciences have received government permission to plant transgenic maize across 24 plots, covering a total of nearly 13 hectares, in the northern states of Sonora, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Coahuila and Tamaulipas.
25 November 2009 | Nature 462, 404 (2009) | doi:10.1038/462404a
Modified Crops Reveal Hidden Cost Of Resistance
ScienceDaily (Oct. 29, 2009) — Genetically modified squash plants that are resistant to a debilitating viral disease become more vulnerable to a fatal bacterial infection, according to biologists.
"Cultivated squash is susceptible to a variety of viral diseases and that is a major problem for farmers," said Andrew Stephenson, Penn State professor of biology. "Infected plants grow more slowly and their fruit becomes misshapen."
In the mid-1990s, the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved genetically modified squash, which are resistant to three of the most important viral diseases in cultivated squash. However, while disease-resistant crops have been a boon to commercial farmers, ecologists worry there might be certain hidden costs associated with the modified crops.
"There is concern in the ecological community that, when the transgenes that confer resistance to these viral diseases escape into wild populations, they will (change) those plants," said Stephenson, whose team's findings appear on October 26 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "That could impact the biodiversity of plant communities where wild squash are native."
Stephenson and his colleagues James A. Winsor, professor of biology; Matthew J. Ferrari, research associate; and Miruna A. Sasu, doctoral student, all at Penn State; and Daolin Du, visiting professor, Jiangsu University, China, crossed the genetically modified squash into wild squash native to the southwestern United States and examined the resulting flower and fruit production.
Unlike a lab experiment, the researchers tried to mimic a real world setting during their three-year study.
The researchers then looked at the effects of the virus-resistant transgenes on prevalence of the three viral diseases, herbivory by cucumber beetles, as well as the occurrence of bacterial wilt disease that is spread by the cucumber beetles.
"When the cucumber beetles start to feed on infected plants they pick up the bacteria through their digestive system," explained Sasu. "This feeding creates open wounds on the leaves and when the bugs' feces falls on these open wounds, the bacteria find their way into the plumbing of the plant."
The researchers discovered that as the viral infection swept the fields containing both genetically modified and wild crops, the damage from cucumber beetles is greater on the genetically modified plants. The modified plants are therefore more susceptible to the fatal bacterial wilt disease. ... More...http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091026152938.htm
Gene for glowing passed along to monkey offspring
NEW YORK (AP) - Scientists gave marmosets a gene that made their feet glow green, and one of the animals passed it along to its offspring - the first time that an added gene has been inherited by a monkey.
It was a milestone, experts said, that should make it easier to produce animals with versions of human disease for medical research.
Animals that get added genetic material are called transgenic. While researchers have long created transgenic mice and other animals by giving them extra genetic material, monkeys offer a promising avenue for medical studies because of their similarity to humans.
Researchers have added genes to rhesus macaques before by injecting embryos, but the new work is the first documentation that such genes can be passed along to future generations of monkeys. That's important because it opens the door to creating colonies of transgenic monkeys by breeding, which would be far simpler than the cumbersome process of making each animal from scratch by injecting a gene into an embryo.
The work is reported in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature by scientists at the Central Institute for Experimental Animals in Kawasaki, Japan, and elsewhere in that country.
The researchers plan to use transgenic marmosets to study such conditions as Parkinson's disease and Lou Gehrig's disease, or ALS.
Anthony Chan of the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta said the result boosts his confidence that his transgenic macaques will also pass along their added genes to offspring, once they become old enough to reproduce.
EU Environment Ministers Keep Bans on Transgenic Maize
BRUSSELS, Belgium, March 2, 2009 (ENS) - European Union environment ministers today overwhelmingly rejected a European Commission proposal to force Austria and Hungary to lift their bans on the controversial cultivation of varieties of genetically modified maize, or corn.
The first Environment Council under the Czech Presidency was asked to decide on three commission proposals for repealing safeguard clauses by Austria and Hungary on the cultivation of two genetically modified varieties of maize.
Twenty-two of the EU's 27 member states voted to allow Hungary to maintain a ban on Monsanto's GM maize, MON810, and Austria to keep its ban on MON810 and Bayer's T25.
Sold under the trade name Yieldgard, MON810 confers resistance to European corn borer, an insect pest.
Bayer CropScience's modified maize T25 is engineered to tolerate the pesticide glufosinate. Glufosinate was included in a biocide ban proposed by the Swedish Chemicals Agency and approved by the European Parliament on January 13, 2009.
Commenting on the decision, Green MEP Caroline Lucas said, "Today's decision by EU environment ministers is great news for the environment, farmers and consumers - and sets a good precedent for future campaigns against genetically modified crops. ...snip...
Subject: Transgenic crops and environment
This Pocket Guide Will Help You Learn Which Brands Are Using Genetically Engineered Crops
The True Food Network believes consumers have the right to know what's in their food, and to aid in that education, the organization has updated its pocket guide to genetically engineered (GE) crops.
The Network, an advocacy group devoted to stopping the genetic engineering of food and farms, provides important information; for example, foods containing GE ingredients don't have to be labeled as such. As the term suggests, genetic engineering involves the manipulation of an organism's DNA to create something new.
The pocket guide organizes foods into categories and provides brand names that may contain GE ingredients. You'll learn that while items such as milk and eggs aren't GE, they may have come from animals that were fed GE grain. Some fruits and vegetables - 50% of papaya from Hawaii, for example - is GE.
The big 4 GE crops are corn (think corn starch, corn syrup); soy (soybean oil, soy protein); canola (canola oil); and cotton (cottonseed oil).
The group suggests buying organic, since organic products cannot contain GE ingredients, and grass-fed beef.
On the organization's website, it states that staffers contacted companies directly to inquire about the use of GE ingredients. Those listed in the guide as using GE ingredients either confirmed the use of them or did not deny it.
The Center for Food Safety, which has partnered with the True Food Network, explains that studies have revealed that genetically engineered foods can pose serious risks to humans, domesticated animals, wildlife and the environment. On the organization's website, it states human health effects can include higher risks of toxicity, allergenicity, antibiotic resistance, immune-suppression and cancer. The use of GE crops could affect the environment by leading to uncontrolled biological pollution, threatening numerous microbial, plant and animal species with extinction, and potentially contamination of non-genetically engineered life forms with possibly hazardous genetic material.
Find this article at: http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/eat-safe/guide-genetically-engineered-foods-44050508
Meanwhile, at GTC Biotherapeutics in Framingham, MA, goats seem to be the ideal solution to that company's particular quest. And certainly this choice of caprine platform has paid off enormously; GTC can now boast a historical milestone with the release of "ATryn®, our recombinant form of human antithrombin, the first transgenically produced protein to be approved anywhere in the world, having recently been approved by the European Commission for the prophylactic treatment of deep vein thrombosis in patients with hereditary antithrombin deficiencies that are undergoing surgical procedures," according to a company statement. Link
Transgenic Maize Is More Susceptible To
So where does this unexpected difference between conventional and Bt maize come from? The insertion of the Bt gene could have an effect on other genes, but the NCCR Plant Survival researchers rather think that by producing Bt toxin the plant's chemistry is otherwise altered.
by Terra Daily Staff Writers
Neuchatel, Switzerland (SPX) Sep 10, 2007
The environmental consequences of transgenic crops are the focus of numerous investigations, such as the one published in the journal PloS ONE, which was carried out by Cristina Faria and her colleagues, under the supervision of Ted Turlings, professor in chemical ecology at the University of Neuchatel. The researchers observed that most transgenic maize lines were significantly more susceptible to the aphid Rhopalosiphum maidis than their conventional equivalents.
"We have studied six lines of Bt maize containing an insecticidal gene derived from the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis. The toxin produced by these genes is very specific and only affects the caterpillars feeding on the plants, not the aphids. Five of the lines contained up to twice the number of aphids", states Cristina Faria. She does, however, go on to clarify what seems, at a first glance, detrimental to the plant.
For complete article, go to Terra Daily http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Transgenic_Maize_Is_More_Susceptible_To_Aphids_999.html
Intervention: Confronting the Real Risks of Genetic Engineering and Life on a Biotech Planet
This is an important, highly informative, and written so the non-scientist can easily read abuut and understand the topic.
Denise Caruso; Hybrid Vigor Press; ISBN 978-0-6151-3553-3
At your local book store or www.hybridvigor.org or LuLu.com or Amazon
Intervention is a very important book about transgenics. If you eat and are interested in food, get this book. If you think you are not really too interested in the topic, get this book and find out why it is very very important that you and others learn about how transgenic manipulation of food applies to you, your children, grandchildren and really, the future of all humans. Caruso has explained in steady, rational prose, eye-opening real risks of manipulating codes of life forms. If you are interested in things transgenic and even if you are so far not interested in things transgenic, this is a very important book on the topic and implications of risks involved in the commercialization of transgenics.
I've e-mailed many friends and associates to get Intervention and get reading. This is full five stars about this accelerating science. About science but thoughtful general readers [that's me] can read it. Enlightening and sobering. A right-questions and information book. A similar one should have been written early on about 'our' nuclear industry.
The biological co-mingling of animal and human is now evolving into even more exotic and unsettling mixes of species, evoking the Greek myth of the monstrous chimera, which was part lion, part goat and part serpent.
The world of science in the 21st century has become very complex. In the last few years alone therapeutic development has changed dramatically with the advent of new Transgenic Animal Models.
Genetically Engineered Salmon
Transgenic art provocateur Eduardo Kac http://www.ekac.org/ , creator of the green flourescenet rabbit, Howard "Lucifer Principle" Bloom http://www.howardbloom.net/ whose latest book is the Global Brain, and psychedelic spiritualist Jonathan Bethel http://www.omegapoint.org/ . RU says:
"Start the universe with a few rules. Watch it iterate and accumulate complexity over billions of years. Add in some nanotechnology, robotics, and super-chemistry. Now, take the transgenic bunny rabbit and put it in Professor Schrödinger’s box. Wait several decades … stirring frequently. If things work out, you will have a perfectly divine singularity … to serve up to family and guests. If not, you will have an entertaining read, to be savored until we issue again."
[Thanks to http://boingboing.net/ for this Transgenic information]
On an Interpretive Ruling Concerning Upjohn's Transgenic Squash
On an Interpretive Ruling Concerning Transgenic Tomatoes
On the Regulatory Status of Transgenic Glyphosate-Tolerant Soybean
On Genetically Engineered Virus-Resistant Squash
To EPA on Governing Genetically Engineered Plant Pesticides
Wi98: Transgenic Crops Around the World
Biological Confinement of Genetically Engineered Organisms
This 2004 report by the National Academies assesses the readiness and effectiveness of biological methods to contain transgenic organisms, including crop plants, grasses, trees, fish, shellfish, and other organisms.
Pharm and Industrial Crops: the Next Wave of Agricultural Biotechnology
A 2003 background briefing by UCS to guide the public and decision makers about the new policy challenges posed as this rapidly developing technology enters the marketplace.
Gone to Seed: Transgenic Contaminants in the Traditional Seed Supply
In 2004, UCS released this report which found pervasive contamination by transgenic material in bags of seed
After having broadcast doubts about the harmlessness of a transgenic corn marketed by Monsanto, MON 863, the Biomolecular Engineering Committee (BEC), delivers an opinion favorable to its importation. December 04
Exercise in a pill
A protein called PPAR-delta in the body that regulates other genes involved in the process of breaking down fat could someday be the basis for an "excercise pill." Ronald Evans of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies genetically engineered mice to produce extra PPAR-delta to see if it would affect the rodents' weight. From Scientific American:
When put on a high-fat, high-calorie diet for 13 weeks, the transgenic mice gained only a third of the weight that their unmodified brethren did. What is more, mice on this diet remained resistant to obesity even when they were kept inactive....
|Transgenic Crop Risk Low, Says
British Expert Panel
LONDON, United Kingdom, July 21, 2003 (ENS) - Genetically modified crops currently on the market pose a "very low" risk to human health, according to a report published by the GM Science Review Panel today. But the panel says that scientists cannot give "blanket assurances" on the safety of genetically modified crops, and applications to use the technology should be considered on a case by case basis.
Editorial From Biophotonics International Magazine, March 2004 [www.photonics.com]
Transgenic Pets For Sale
Much of the debate over genetically modified food stems from the fact that we don't know the long-term effects that transgenic organisms might have on the environment or on human health. Should a major problem occur, it could be almost impossible to remove transgenic crops from the environment because of cross-pollination with nontransgenic crops. And, as if tampering with vegetation doesn't sound risky enough, we could one day find ourselves in the same situation with genetically modified animals.
Genetic modification is often used to alter an organism's genes so that it models disease or can be sued to study gene function. Modified organisms have led to better treatment and earlier detection of many diseases, and, until recently, they didn't pose an environmental risk because they were kept in a lab.
But now genetically modified animals are available to the public. In the past few months, transgenic zebrafish with the gene for fluorescent protein were introduced under the name GloFishtm in pet stores across the country. The fluorescent fish producers, Yorktown Technologies L.P. of Austin Texas, said that environmental safety is their first priority and that the patented fish are safe because they cannot survive in the cool waters of the US.
On the surface, this may seem acceptable, but it has opened the door for less conscientious companies or individuals to create other transgenic pets that might survive in the wild. In fact the fish aren't sterilized, so even children could breed and distribute them. The Food and Drug Administration says that this doesn't fall under its jurisdiction: "Because tropical aquarium fish are not used for food purposes, they pose no threat to the food supply. There is no evidence that these genetically engineered zebra danio fish pose any more threat to the environment than their unmodified counterparts, which have long been widely sold in the United States. In the absence of a clear risk to the public health, the FDA finds no reason to regulate these particular fish."
The ethics of altering DNA to produce a pet also comes into play. California's fish and game commission has banned genetically engineered animals for fear that genetically modified farmed fish, such as salmon, could escape and harm the wild salmon population. The state did not exempt the zebrafish because, as one commissioner put it, messing with life on this level of pure enjoyment isn't ethical.
A public-interest and environmental advocacy organization, the International Center for Technology Assessment, and its affiliate, the Center for Food Safety, are concerned about the fish as well. They filed suit in the District of Columbia seeking a court order requiring permits for the sale of GloFishtm.
Have we not learned from past mistakes that preservation is the watchword when it comes to our fragile environment? We already have to live with the fact that some pollutants will never leave living organisms. The more we tamper with something as basic to life as DNA --especially under uncontrolled, unregulated circumstances--the more we risk permanently damaging the ecosystem Doing so for novelty or sport is inexcusable.
Center for Food Safety Demands FDA to Regulate Genetically Engineered GloFish http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/gefish/fx-mclellanwd.pdf
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