Lamasur's genetically modified salmon can reach sizes of 750 grams. (Photo: Stock File)
Genetically modified salmon condemned
Monday, January 11, 2010, 08:40 (GMT + 9)
A commission of the Authority on Aquatic Resources of Panama (ARAP) ratified the order to destroy the genetically modified salmon stocks produced by the company Aqua Bounty Technologies, in order to comply with the country’s international commitments.
Panama is a signatory of the Cartagena Protocol, which establishes that the activity of genetic manipulation is exclusively for research ends in a confined space. The agreement prohibits as much the release of modified fish in natural environments, as the commercialisation of the same.
The “supersalmon” that is produced in the facilities of the Lamasur company, in Chiriqui, can reach sizes of 750 grams, whereas the fish that are not manipulated genetically do not quite reach 150 grams in weight.
Diana Arauz. (Photo: ARAP)
ARAP administrator Diana Arauz explained that it is still being decided if the destruction of the stock will be made immediately or next May, when the study is finalised, La Estrella reports.
Arauz denied, in addition, that Panama is going to export genetically modified salmon, thus refuting reports that had been published.
Meanwhile, biologist Ana Luisa Garcia, ARAP's research director, warned that if these fish are accidentally released into a natural habitat, like the stream that runs near the area where the pools lie, it would cause a natural disaster, by and large for other species, due to the predatory nature of the salmon.
The Canadian company boasts about 40,000 salmon in the Panamanian Atlantic, of which 30,000 have been modified genetically, according to the Panamanian press.
By Silvina Corniola