GloFish TM

Discussion in 'The Bucket' started by SpngBob, Feb 3, 2004.

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  1. SpngBob

    SpngBob Astrea Snail

    Sep 27, 2003
    Cincinnati, OH,Ohio,12543,585017,00.html

    "Last month pet stores began selling genetically engineered fluorescent zebra fish, called GloFish, and I was first in line. Never mind that California has banned transgenic pets, and animal-rights activists nationwide cry foul: What's the point? The fish are technological marvels -- that's the point. Scientists began adding fluorescence genes plucked from jellyfish and coral to zebra fish during the late '90s to make them glow in the presence of toxins, and thus help keep our waterways clean. The $5 gen-mods also happen to look spectacular beneath a black light; they fluoresce neon red. In this case, environmentalism delivers a bankable fringe benefit. "

    They sell these at my LFS... They look like normal fish to me... Maybe a little brighter but what was the point in doing all that research to make a bright fish?

    Tell me what ya think

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  3. CG

    CG Bristle Worm

    Dec 29, 2003
    Austin, TX,Texas
    guess you've gotta put them under a blacklight
  4. NUGIO

    NUGIO Corkscrew Tentacle Anemone

    Dec 5, 2003
    MO VAL, CA
    The problem I have with them is what if they breed with non geneticaly enginered fish what happens then? what effect will that have on the ecosystem.
    will we get some mutant fish that wreaks havoc  and can not get rid of. :-[
  5. Scuba

    Scuba Fire Shrimp

    Oct 24, 2003
    Mid-west, Illinois
    I came across this from
    "Zebrafish (Danio rerio), native to the Ganges River in India, are normally striped black and grey and are commonplace both in labs and as pets. Scientists at the National University of Singapore engineered the fish with the gene for red fluorescent protein from sea anemones and coral to detect water pollution, initially injecting the gene into one- or two-cell embryos before they hatched, although GloFish now come from stable lines bred from the original experimental animals. Research continues on developing zebrafish that selectively fluoresce when exposed to contaminants such as estrogen or heavy metals.

    The FDA, which holds jurisdiction over the commercial development of GM animals, announced in December that it found no reason to regulate these pets. “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,” the FDA stated. By contrast, a modified “super salmon” that its promoters hope can be used as food has been under review by the FDA for several years. The FDA says that it will provide such oversight, for the time being, on a case-by-case basis.

    Alan Blake, chief executive officer of GloFish manufacturer Yorktown Technologies, has told other media outlets that he checked with the Environmental Protection Agency, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Agriculture, and the FDA, and was told that they had no regulatory interest. Blake declined requests to be interviewed by The Scientist.

    The FDA learned of the planned introduction of the GloFish sometime in October, said John C. Matheson, senior regulatory review scientist at the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine. “I think folks are continuing to consider what's the best way,” Matheson told The Scientist the day after the statement was released. “We would have liked to have heard from [Alan Blake] sooner, but I'm not sure there are any legal obligations on him.”

    Yorktown Technologies announced that the GloFish would go on sale in January. The fish were actually available in Florida retail outlets in late November and in other states soon after. On the brink of those first sales, the Center for Food Safety, the Sierra Club, Consumers' Union, Greenpeace, and other environmental groups demanded that the FDA intervene to forestall the GloFish's retail debut, pending a safety review. They pointed out that Singapore and Japan had already halted sales of fluorescing zebrafish and that many similar new bioengineered products are on the horizon. “The floodgates are yours to close,” their letter stated.

    On December 4, California's fish and game commission voted to ban GloFish sales there, citing ethical concerns about genetic engineering for trivial uses. Florida's Department of Agriculture has formed a task force to address future such genetically altered species, but did not ban the sales of GloFish.

    Researchers consulted by Yorktown Technologies and independently by the California Department of Fish and Game contended the GloFish pose no greater risk to the environment than wildtype zebrafish. The tropical fish do not survive in nontropical environments. The researchers added the fish's fluorescence burdens the fish metabolically and in avoiding predators, and in lab tests with rats, the fluorescent proteins appeared nontoxic.

    “Yorktown Technologies stands by that these fish are safe for the environment. They were originally developed to protect the environment,” a spokesperson for the company said. “The distributors have said there's unprecedented consumer demand.”

    Citing the precedent GloFish could set, Mendelson noted that a number of ornamental fish can also be food fish and that the escape of GM ornamental food fish could pose a problem to public and environmental health. “There's a chance here organisms can proliferate without any safety monitoring,” Mendelson said. “That's an abdication of what FDA's role is. They've frankly punted on this GloFish issue, and the ramifications are going to be significant. That's why we've to go stop it.”

    Hope it helps