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Great Lakes Article:

Michigan may ban genetically engineered pet fish
Associated Press
01/08/04

One fish, two fish, red fish Glofish?

The nationís first genetically engineered pet glows in the dark and has been lighting up cash registers in Michigan pet shops. But Glofish, created by splicing a sea anemone gene into a zebra fish, may not be available for long.

California already has banned the fish and proposed laws in Michigan could do the same, The Bay City Times reported.

Todd Grischke, fisheries supervisor for the Department of Natural Resources in Lansing, declined to comment specifically on Glofish, but said his agency is working with state legislators on new laws that would ban possession and transportation of any genetically engineered organisms.

Grischke likened altered fish to an invasive species.

"You threaten entire ecosystems," he said. "You donít know how those new animals are going to behave in the wild."

"They could cause our original stocks to die off. They could be susceptible to disease outbreaks. They could change their life cycle patterns. Who knows?"

Glofish, grown by two Florida companies, are marketed by Texas-based Yorktown Technologies, which contends the pet is safe and wouldnít survive the cold waters of the Great Lakes if released.

"Yorktown Technologies researched these fish for two years, and spoke with over a dozen scientists internationally to assure that they were safe," said Talley Summerlin, a company spokesman.


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