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ANIMALS: UK authorities confirm illegal GM fish sales



------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------
TITLE:  Authorities confirm GM fish report
SOURCE: Practical Fishkeeping, UK
AUTHOR: Matt Clarke
URL:    http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/pfk/pages/item.php?news=1256
DATE:   17.05.2007
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Authorities confirm GM fish report

British authorities have confirmed that the Red danios Practical
Fishkeeping claimed were transgenic fish are genetically modified to
fluoresce.

Following a report by Practical Fishkeeping, the GM Inspectorate and the
Fish Health Inspectorate issued a notice on March 5 2007 warning fish
importers and retailers that Red danios on sale may have been
genetically modified and made illegally available for sale.

It asked importers and retailers not to trade in coloured danios pending
the results of its investigations.

Last month Practical Fishkeeping reported that one reader had obtained
illegally some of the fish from a retailer in southern England and bred
the fish at home. The offspring had the same pink fluorescent pigment
seen in their parents, indicating that the fish were transgenic and not
dyed or colour fed.

Tests undertaken on the fish by the Central Science Laboratory have
confirmed Practical Fishkeeping's report that the fish are genetically
modified to express genes for red fluorescent protein and green
fluorescent protein. It says the fish were on sale in the UK under the
name Coral pink danio.

Sarah Hugo, the Head of the UK's GM Inspectorate said: "This finding is
consistent with reports from authorities in Holland and Germany who also
recently confirmed the presence of genetically modified danios in their
ornamental fish trade.

"It is an offence for any person to import or acquire, release or market
any genetically modified (GM) organisms within Great Britain without the
consent of the Secretary of State, the Welsh Assembly Government or the
Scottish Executive, provided under Article 111 of The Environmental
Protection Act 1990."

The GM Inspectorate has confirmed that no GM fish have been authorised
in Europe or Great Britain, therefore anyone who knowingly imports,
acquires or markets the fish is committing a criminal offence.

Hugo said that importers and retailers must not market or obtain any
fish meeting the description of Coral pink danio, or any similar
sounding name, unless they are certain that the fish are not genetically
modified.

"Monitoring activities are now in place and any fish suspected to be
genetically modified will be seized", added Hugo.

"Anyone appearing to breach these requirements may be prosecuted. Anyone
who believes they have taken possession of genetically modified fish, or
requires further information, or is able to furnish additional
information on the availability should contact either the GM
Inspectorate on 01904 462 223 or email gm-inspectorate@csl.gov.uk, or
the Fish Health Inspectorate at CEFAS Weymouth on 01305 206 673/4 or
email fish.health.inspectorate@cefas.co.uk."


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