[NB NB: Because this conference started slowly, we will extend the conference by an extra week to allow participants to have a full opportunity to share their views and experiences on the appropriateness of currently available biotechnologies for the fishery sector in developing countries and/or to respond to or comment on some of the interesting messages that have been posted in the last couple of weeks. The final date for posting messages is now SUNDAY 8 OCTOBER...........Moderator]
Since the interesting discussion is coming to it's final stage, I would like to re-emphasize a few major points:
1) Genetically engineered (GE) fish lines are very similar to their respective parental lines. The additional traits added, like growth rates or disease resistance, are similar to any trait added by many years of conventional selective breeding.
2) Interpretation of GE zebrafish experiments (in aquaria), have very little relevance to aquaculture rearing conditions of carp, tilapia, rainbow trout or salmon.
3) Instead of automatically raising the black flag every time GE fish are mentioned, let us do the carefully designed experiments neccessary to answer basic questions of fitness parameters of GE fish. We should stop bragging and start working.
4) World organizations should invest money in experiments to study new GE fish lines like carp, tilapia, rainbow trout, and salmon in order to use them as improved stocks.
5) There is no question in my mind that once the risk assesment will be tested in properly controlled field experiments, GE fish will be part of the biotechnological revolution we are seeing with GE plants. Raising unfounded fears cannot stop the progress of biotechnology in service of mankind, but it can slow it down significantly
Boaz Moav Ph.D
Dept of Zoology
Ramat-Aviv, Tel-Aviv, Israel 69978
Tel: 972-3-6409817, Fax: 972-3-6409403
[To contribute to this conference, send your message to [email protected] For further information on the FAO Electronic Forum on Biotechnology in Food and Agriculture see http://www.fao.org/biotech/forum.asp ]