Fluorescent Fish Will Become First Genetically Engineered Pet in U.S.

If genetically engineered food ruffles your feathers, get a load of
this: The nation's first genetically altered pet, a glow-in-the-dark
tropical zebra fish, made its public debut on Friday. Developed by a
Texas company and intended to be sold for about $5 a pop in pet
stores, the patented GloFish owe their red fluorescence to a gene
transferred from a sea anemone. The fish were originally engineered
to detect environmental toxins, but have now been licensed to be sold
as pets. A coalition of enviro groups is arguing that the fish
should be reviewed by federal regulators before being sold because
they could upset the ecological balance of waterways if people dump
out their aquariums. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is
charged with regulating genetically engineered animals intended for
the food supply, but its role in relation to ornamental fish is
unclear. Meanwhile, researchers are working on other genetically
engineered pets, including an allergen-free cat.

straight to the source: New York Times, Andrew Pollack, 22 Nov 2003
straight to the source: Los Angeles Times, Kenneth R. Weiss, 22 Nov 2003

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