5-Animals: NZ university adds frog genes to salmon
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NZ University Adds Frog Genes To Salmon
Sunday, 21 February 1999, 2:42 pm
Press Release: Green Party
Jeanette Fitzsimons MP
Green Party of Aotearoa/New Zealand
21 February 1999
NZ UNIVERSITY ADDS FROG GENES TO SALMON
Canterbury University is spending $142,000 to create mutant salmon,
including some with frog genes.
Greens Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons, who issued details of the work
today, said it was the first example of genetic engineering of marine
species she had discovered in New Zealand.
"Salmon are migratory fish and I am deeply concerned that this tampering
work will eventually transfer gene pollution to the oceans," she said.
"It will mean no corner of the world will be free of it.
"There are ethical questions about crossing two non-related animals in
this way, plus an issue of human health. The toad and frog genes selected
in this type of experiment produce natural antibiotics. No-one knows how
these will affect people who eat mutant salmon."
Ms Fitzsimons said New Zealand was becoming one of the genetic
engineering centres of the world, and a principal advocate for the
"In the last few days at international genetic engineering protocol talks
in Colombia - a spin-off from the 1992 Earth Summit - New Zealand sided
with the United States and its big gene tampering firms, and opposed
concerns of developing countries," she said.
"Developing nations feared genetically engineered crops could have
devastating effects on their rich biological diversity, cultural
traditions and traditional agriculture."
For example, Tewolde Gebre Egziabher, Ethiopia's chief environmental
official, said: "Our knowledge of these things is too scanty. Until
proven not dangerous, they must be presumed dangerous."
"New Zealand to its shame opposed such a sensible view," Ms Fitzsimons
said. "Unlike cautious European countries, we have become the
mutant-making hand-maiden to big US companies like Monsanto."
-| Hartmut Meyer
-| The European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering
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