The public release of a little aquarium fish that glows in the dark is stirring the waters of the genetic engineering debate. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s David Sommerstein reports:
The public release of a little aquarium fish that glows in the dark is stirring the waters of the genetic
engineering debate. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s David Sommerstein reports:
Texas-based Yorktown Technologies calls its creation a Glo-fish. It’s a genetically-modified
zebrafish that glows in ultraviolet light. It’s marketed as an attractive and graceful addition to a fish
tank. The company says because the Glo-fish is tropical, it wouldn’t survive in cold waters like the
Great Lakes if it escaped.
But environmental and consumer groups worry that genetically-modified pets of the future could
threaten the ecological balance. Peter Jenkins is a policy analyst with the Center for Food Safety.
He says the Glo-Fish also raises ethical concerns. He’s calling on the federal government to
“We’re not flat-out opposed to all genetic engineering. If it is to be used, it should be for the
betterment of mankind and for the environment and not for frivolous pets.”
California is the only state that can bar genetically-engineered species. It recently ruled to prohibit
Glo-Fish sales. In all other states, the Glo-Fish will be available in pet stores starting January 5th.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m David Sommerstein.