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GM Contamination Register
Incident details
Region/Continent and country:
Asia / Japan
Category of incident:
What was contaminated:
Other
GM organism involved:
Fish
Year incident occurred:
2006

Route of contamination
Illegal import and sale of fish in petshops

Japan - GM fish sold in pet shops

On February 3 2006, the Japanese Ministry of the Environment and Minsitry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food announced a recall on unapproved GM killifish (medaka), known as ‘Night Pearl’ that was developed in Taiwan and imported into Japan. According to the press release, a distributor in Hyogo Prefecture imported 800 GM killifish that were distributed to 12 different pet shops in several locations. The government released a list of shops, and asked consumers to return the GM killifish to the shops, without releasing them into rivers.

The fish have been genetically modified to contain a jelly fish gene which makes them fluorescent. The fish have not been approved for sale in Japan.
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Further information

Japan Ministry of Environment Press Release on GM fish (in Japanese) >

Japan Biosafety Clearing-House announcement on GM fish (in Japanese) >

Genetically engineered glowing "Night Pearl" aquarium fish now on sale. SciScoop, Science News Forum June 26, 2003 >


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