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Petitions seek bar on gene-modified fish
By Nikki Tait in Chicago
Published: May 9 2001 19:07GMT | Last Updated: May 9 2001 20:34GMT

http://news.ft.com/ft/gx.cgi/ftc?pagename=...p;subheading=US



Fishermen and fishing companies on Wednesday joined forces with environmental and consumer groups to file legal petitions to the US Department of Agriculture and the US Food and Drug Administration. They seek a moratorium on the marketing or importation of genetically engineered fish until human safety and environmental effects have been fully reviewed.

Andrew Kimbrell, the president of the Center for Food Safety, described the petitions as "a first step". "If the Bush administration turns us down we will litigate. We will take the issue to court," he said.

Genetically engineered fish are not approved in the US. However, several companies are known to be working in the area, with the ultimate aim of selling genetically engineered eggs to commercial fish farms.

One of those - A/F Proteins, based in Massachusetts - acknowledges that it has been in contact with the FDA over its work, although it adds that it has not filed a formal regulatory request to commercialise the technology in either the US or Canada, where the bulk of the fish resulting from its research are housed.

A/F Proteins' work is focused on developing fish that can produce a growth hormone all year round rather than predominantly in the summer. That means the fish can grow four to six times faster, with potential advantages for fish farms, which would have to spend less on feed and have a marketable product sooner.

However, even before Wednesday's petitions, concern over the implications of such technologies was fairly widespread. Researchers at Indiana's Purdue University, for example, have argued that the larger size of transgenic fish could allow them to attract mates more easily. But they also claim that experiments show the transgenic fish may have significantly lower survival rates. This combination could threaten a wild population if transgenics were mixed in.

"The notion that these fish could get into the wild poses all sorts of problems," said Zeke Grader, the executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, noting that 33 traditional salmon species are already listed as endangered. Similar issues have surfaced both in Europe and North America.

In Canada, for example, an expert scientific panel, commissioned by the Canadian government, has recommended that approval for commercial production of transgenic fish be conditional on the rearing of fish in land-based facilities only, and that a moratorium be placed on rearing in aquatic net pens.

The FDA will be required to reply to the petitions within 180 days.
 

spectr17

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Petitions seek bar on gene-modified fish
By Nikki Tait in Chicago
Published: May 9 2001 19:07GMT | Last Updated: May 9 2001 20:34GMT

http://news.ft.com/ft/gx.cgi/ftc?pagename=...p;subheading=US



Fishermen and fishing companies on Wednesday joined forces with environmental and consumer groups to file legal petitions to the US Department of Agriculture and the US Food and Drug Administration. They seek a moratorium on the marketing or importation of genetically engineered fish until human safety and environmental effects have been fully reviewed.

Andrew Kimbrell, the president of the Center for Food Safety, described the petitions as "a first step". "If the Bush administration turns us down we will litigate. We will take the issue to court," he said.

Genetically engineered fish are not approved in the US. However, several companies are known to be working in the area, with the ultimate aim of selling genetically engineered eggs to commercial fish farms.

One of those - A/F Proteins, based in Massachusetts - acknowledges that it has been in contact with the FDA over its work, although it adds that it has not filed a formal regulatory request to commercialise the technology in either the US or Canada, where the bulk of the fish resulting from its research are housed.

A/F Proteins' work is focused on developing fish that can produce a growth hormone all year round rather than predominantly in the summer. That means the fish can grow four to six times faster, with potential advantages for fish farms, which would have to spend less on feed and have a marketable product sooner.

However, even before Wednesday's petitions, concern over the implications of such technologies was fairly widespread. Researchers at Indiana's Purdue University, for example, have argued that the larger size of transgenic fish could allow them to attract mates more easily. But they also claim that experiments show the transgenic fish may have significantly lower survival rates. This combination could threaten a wild population if transgenics were mixed in.

"The notion that these fish could get into the wild poses all sorts of problems," said Zeke Grader, the executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, noting that 33 traditional salmon species are already listed as endangered. Similar issues have surfaced both in Europe and North America.

In Canada, for example, an expert scientific panel, commissioned by the Canadian government, has recommended that approval for commercial production of transgenic fish be conditional on the rearing of fish in land-based facilities only, and that a moratorium be placed on rearing in aquatic net pens.

The FDA will be required to reply to the petitions within 180 days.
 

spectr17

Administrator
Admin
Joined
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Petitions seek bar on gene-modified fish
By Nikki Tait in Chicago
Published: May 9 2001 19:07GMT | Last Updated: May 9 2001 20:34GMT

http://news.ft.com/ft/gx.cgi/ftc?pagename=...p;subheading=US



Fishermen and fishing companies on Wednesday joined forces with environmental and consumer groups to file legal petitions to the US Department of Agriculture and the US Food and Drug Administration. They seek a moratorium on the marketing or importation of genetically engineered fish until human safety and environmental effects have been fully reviewed.

Andrew Kimbrell, the president of the Center for Food Safety, described the petitions as "a first step". "If the Bush administration turns us down we will litigate. We will take the issue to court," he said.

Genetically engineered fish are not approved in the US. However, several companies are known to be working in the area, with the ultimate aim of selling genetically engineered eggs to commercial fish farms.

One of those - A/F Proteins, based in Massachusetts - acknowledges that it has been in contact with the FDA over its work, although it adds that it has not filed a formal regulatory request to commercialise the technology in either the US or Canada, where the bulk of the fish resulting from its research are housed.

A/F Proteins' work is focused on developing fish that can produce a growth hormone all year round rather than predominantly in the summer. That means the fish can grow four to six times faster, with potential advantages for fish farms, which would have to spend less on feed and have a marketable product sooner.

However, even before Wednesday's petitions, concern over the implications of such technologies was fairly widespread. Researchers at Indiana's Purdue University, for example, have argued that the larger size of transgenic fish could allow them to attract mates more easily. But they also claim that experiments show the transgenic fish may have significantly lower survival rates. This combination could threaten a wild population if transgenics were mixed in.

"The notion that these fish could get into the wild poses all sorts of problems," said Zeke Grader, the executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, noting that 33 traditional salmon species are already listed as endangered. Similar issues have surfaced both in Europe and North America.

In Canada, for example, an expert scientific panel, commissioned by the Canadian government, has recommended that approval for commercial production of transgenic fish be conditional on the rearing of fish in land-based facilities only, and that a moratorium be placed on rearing in aquatic net pens.

The FDA will be required to reply to the petitions within 180 days.
 
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