Factors to Consider Before Production and Commercialization of Aquatic Genetically Modified Organisms: the Case of Transgenic Salmon

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environmental science & policy 12 (2009) 170–189

available at www.sciencedirect.com

journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/envsci

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Factors to consider before production and commercialization of aquatic genetically modified organisms: the case of transgenic salmon ´ ´ Olivier Le Curieux-Belfond a, Louise Vandelac a,b, Joseph Caron b, Gilles-Eric Seralini a,c,* a

CRIIGEN, 40 rue de Monceau - 75008 Paris, France ´ ´ ` ´ ´ CINBIOSE, Universite du Quebec a Montreal, C.P. 8888 Succ.A Montreal H3C 3P8 Canada c University of Caen and Pole Risques, Laboratory of Biochemistry, EA 2608, IBFA, 14032 Caen, France ˆ b

article info
Published on line 28 November 2008 Keywords: Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) Transgenic salmon Aquaculture policy Food safety Environmental protection

abstract
Many genetically modified plants have been developed, and four of them (soya, maize, cotton, and colza) representing more than 99% of commercial crops, are widely distributed, mainly in the United States and in America [ISAAA, 2006. Report on global status on biotech/ GM crops, Brief 35. International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications organization, US]. Yet all over the world policy is still in development in regard to authorization of modified plants and modified and/or cloned animals for food or feed and for their environmental release. The most advanced animal commercial projects concern various fish species, more easy to genetically transform, notably because conception and development take place in water and easy access to numerous eggs. A request for authorization to introduce genetically modified (GM) salmon onto the market has been presented to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the US. In the interim, questions have been raised concerning the impacts of transgenic salmon, modified for productivity, on aquaculture, wildlife, ecosystems and on human health. Herein we review these scientific studies and sanitary, environmental, social and economic arguments. This paper analyses current gaps in the knowledge of the impacts of transgenic fish and proposes legislation orientations necessary for environmental and sanitary protection, should the marketing of animal genetically modified organisms (GMOs) be authorized. # 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1.

Introduction

Although no authorization for commercialization of genetically modified (GM) fish products for human consumption exists at present (beginning 2008) in North America and Europe, several genetically modified fish or shellfish (aquatic genetically modified organisms (GMOs)) are in development or have been said to be close to market for some years already

(FAO, 2003). Among them, transgenic salmon is at the head of the list, and thus a review of this product may be useful to elucidate the numerous issues which should be considered within the authorization assessment process, including social, economic, public health and environmental concerns. Some actors in aquaculture see in aquatic GMOs the possibility of improving the benefits of aquaculture (Melamed et al., 2002; Utter and Epifanio, 2002). This could occur through

* Corresponding author. ´ E-mail address: criigen@unicaen.fr (G.-E. Seralini)....
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