GM fish genes can contaminate wild stocks

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Genetically modified salmon have been shown to spread their genes to wild fish, according to a report by New Scientist this week.

Fish Biologist Cindy Bessey and her colleagues from the University of British Colombia in Vancouver, have shown that transgenic salmon can interbreed with wild fish, polluting the original genetic stock of the wild type salmon.

Bessey, who spoke at last week's Fourth World Fisheries Congress in Vancouver, says that the experiment they undertook resulted in five out of nine pairs of GM Coho salmon spawning with wild fish in aquarium conditions.

However, Bessey says that while this showed that the transfer of genes is possible, the fish may show different behaviour when they are in the wild.