Genetically modified pet fish worries Florida environmentalists

Since Yorktown Technologies first sold its genetically modified pet — the GloFish — in 2003, the fluorescent fish, an altered variety of zebra fish, has become a popular aquarium item, with millions sold in various neon hues.

In February, Yorktown introduced the Electric Green Tetra, a genetically modified black tetra fish. Like its zebra fish cousin, the GM tetra is a small freshwater fish that includes genetic material from a fluorescent coral that makes it neon-bright. Under a black light, it glows in the dark.

The two GloFish are very different, however, in what environmentalists and some experts say is a crucial way: The heat-loving zebra fish is from southern Asia and can’t survive long in cooler U.S. waters; thus, the Food and Drug Administration has ruled that there would be little threat of invasion of U.S. waterways if it were released from home aquariums. But the black tetra is native to South America and likely to be happy making a splash in the inland waterways of South Florida and Latin America.

View the original article here: Genetically modified pet fish worries Florida environmentalists

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