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[APD] Re: glowfish banned

Has science ever produced by genetic technology an organism that has gotten loose and created problems?

For that matter, has controlled breeding (domestication) ever produced an animal or plant that has gotten loose and created problems? I can't think of any examples. One might cite the domesticated cat getting loose on islands and decimating certain flightless species of birds. However, I think that the damage is due not to what little changes have been made in the cat by the artificial selection process that creates domestication, but to the cat's retaining most of the characteristics of its wild ancestors. The same arguments apply to feral goats and pigs.

The plants and animals that are threatening native species and creating problems in ecosystems to which they have been newly introduced are all pretty much unmodified. The characteristics that would make an animal or plant a threat to any ecosystem are much more likely to be produced by the process of natural selection which acts on the entire genome than by the introduction of a gene or two from some other organism.

If unmodified zebrafish are not a threat to the state of California, I can't see how the ones that produce a red fluorescent pigment produced by a gene from corals would be.

Paul Krombholz in chilly central Mississippi
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