GloFish: ethical or not?

psalm18.2

Saw the new GloFish. What's your opinion on them? Do you or would you own? How do you feel about "changing fish genetic in lab?"
 

Parlay

Well, they were actually first bread to test for pollutants in water, and it was after that they were marketed to the public... interesting way for some scientists to make some cash.

The other bit about it is that they could *possibly* harm indigenous species of Danios in the wild (in India). I think that something that bright would make a quick snack to a predator in a river somewhere. Glo-Fish are also illegal to import into India, the UK, California, and a few other places.

On a completely personal note, I think they look really neat, but I HATE Zebra Danios. No matter WHAT color they are. They're jerks.
 
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elybach

it's as ethical as gmo anything.
 

Parlay

Ely pretty much hit on the head what I was trying to say in much fewer words, lol.
 

Meenu

I agree, like the way they look but wouldn't own danios again for anything. I have no ethical or moral problem with the fact that they are genetically modified.
 

Parlay

I know I'm posting an AWFUL lot in this thread, but I did remember ONE other thing.
I've been told that a portion of the money from Glo-Fish sales actually goes to researching pollutants as that is where their roots lay. I'm not sure if that's true or not.
15 years of researching poison in tropical waterways and we get a funny looking fish out of the deal, lol.
 

elybach

maybe, but who owns the research companies? what else do they own? maybe a conflict of interest here? so does the money actually reach the destination or just a piece of paper?
 

Lucy

Thread has been moved to the FishKeeping Hot Topics section of the forum.
Members must have 50 posts to make a poll.

Glofish are much discussed on the forum.
If you do a search, you'll find a lot of threads about them.

You might have this one interesting:
 

jetajockey

eh. What's next? hybridizing a fish to look like an orange parrot?

The good side is that with genetic modification, it takes all the guesswork and patience out of selective breeding. Maybe one day we can custom order fish into whatever size, style, and temper that we would like.
Where is the line drawn? And who is going to draw it?

Am I the only person that gets uneasy at the thought of mankind sticking a needle into a creature and changing it's DNA forever?

P.s. I don't really care about glo-fish, I think that if anyone wants to pay $5 for a zebra danio, then go for it.
 
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Lucy

Am I the only person that gets uneasy at the thought of mankind sticking a needle into a creature and changing it's DNA forever?

The dye was actually inserted into the eggs not the fish.
The glofish we see in stores are descendants from the original fish created to detect pollutants in waterways.
Whether your belief lies in that the egg is still a creature is for each person to decide for themselves.

This is a good chart from the website.


The is pretty interesting.
As well as their view on Glofish Ethical principles


A quick reminder to everyone.
Please stay on the topic of Glofish.

Thanks!
 
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jetajockey

The dye was actually inserted into the eggs not the fish.
The glofish we see in stores are descendants from the original fish created to detect pollutants in waterways.
Whether your belief lies in that the egg is still a creature is for each person to decide for themselves.

This is a good chart from the website.


The is pretty interesting.
As well as their view on Glofish Ethical principles


A quick reminder to everyone.
Please stay on the topic of Glofish.

Thanks!

I'm not trying to dice words here, a DNA injection into an egg with the intent of modifying the creature that comes from it is what I was talking about specifically. If it can be done with fish, in time and research it can be done with other creatures.

I don't think it's off topic as far as being part of my basis for not really agreeing with the process.

I've read most of their site info, and I find it interesting, but it still doesn't persuade me that what they have done is justified. I'm just saying that since their 'product' is banned in certain states/countries it should be a cause for concern, at the least.

I'm not up in arms over this I just think people should think about it a little bit.

Another possible ethical concern that hasn't been brought up yet is how does one put a copyright on a living creature? Taken from their site
Why are GloFish® the only fluorescent fish that can be sold in the United States?
Because fluorescent fish are unique, their sale is covered by a substantial number of patents and pending patent applications. The providers of GloFish® fluorescent fish, 5-D Tropical and Segrest Farms, are the only distributors that have the necessary licenses to produce and market fluorescent fish within the United States. The production of fluorescent fish by any other party, or the sale of any fluorescent fish not originally distributed by 5-D Tropical or Segrest Farms, is strictly prohibited...
 

RuanMaritz

I would never own a flofish they get injected by the stuff and all the stress , and just think I you were glowing your a nightlight , it looks just too unatural
 

Furallicah

Glofish are a fashion craze, in my eyes. The mass market puts things out that are appealing to the senses, and color is one of the number one things. That's why in recent years you have seen so many new species being listed as actual species and not hybrids. Its how people are. I don't care for them at all, but I don't have a problem with how they are genetically altered.
 

ppate1977

Eh whatever, I don't care for glo-fish;but its not an etical thing for me. I just don't like danios. As long as the fish is not tattood or injectected alive, I don't have an issue.
 

Lucy

Jetajockey, read the link in post #8, you might get a kick out of the glofish rep's response in that thread.
 

LyndaB

I can't even look at glofish at the store.... same goes for "jellybean" blood parrots. I will never have a dyed fish. It goes against the grain with me. :'(
 

Lucy

Lynda, glofish aren't dyed. The eggs were genetically altered. Read the links in post 10. It might not change your opinion but it'll help you understand the difference between the two procedures.
 

Meenu

I would never own a flofish they get injected by the stuff and all the stress , and just think I you were glowing your a nightlight , it looks just too unatural
They aren't injected.
 

LyndaB

Lynda, glofish aren't dyed. The eggs were genetically altered. Read the links in post 10. It might not change your opinion but it'll help you understand the difference between the two procedures.

I do understand, but thank you. I know about the eggs being injected. It's still dye, no matter at what point it enters the genetic stream. :
 

Meenu

But each egg isn't injected. The fish are now born this way.
 

LyndaB

My opinion is that I don't like fish that are dyed. At one point, an egg was injected with dye. Therefore, I don't like the dyed fish at the store that is the end result.

I rest my case, counselor.
 

iloveengl

I see glofish at this point as I do dogs and cats that we're inbred ages ago to look or act a certain way. I don't see it as a problem unless it causes discomfort or other health concerns for the animal. So long as glofish were not harmed in the creation, and are not harmed now, I don't see it as unethical. This is coming from a hardcore vegetarian who lives a vegetarian lifestyle not limited to diet; I'm not one to take an animal's well being lightly. I think glofish offer a positive alternative to truly died fish like parrots and tetras.

That said, I think danios are obnoxious, so I won't own them, but I wish the best for the little dudes in anyone else's tank.
 
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iloveengl

That's a different thing. The glofish in this discussion are danios. The fish cruelty I think very nearly 100% of us would agree about are the ones that are ripped from the tank, stabbed with a needle, and injected with a temporary dye. This did not happen to the danios in question. The danios' eggs were injected years ago with jellyfish dna, and subsequent babies retain the modified dna without hassel.
 

Meenu

oh how do they do it? I saw them inject stuf in an angelfish

If you read the links provided earlier in this thread, it explains how they were created.
 

sirdarksol

So long as glofish were not harmed in the creation, and are not harmed now, I don't see it as unethical.

There probably were a number of harmed fish.
There's the fact that we have not yet mastered this whole genetic manipulation thing. We know how it works, kind of, but we still have to guess at which genetic strand to cut and which enzyme will do that properly. Then we have to hope that inserting the new strand doesn't accidentally activate some dormant genetic sequence. Most such mistakes probably end up with non-viable eggs. However, some are going to end up with deformed fry, until we get a stable strain that can breed itself.

Now, this doesn't mean I'm inherently against them. I'm just playing devil's advocate. GloFish, I don't have much of a problem with (though I don't really like how they look). They were created as a potential aid to finding pollution. That experiment didn't work, so the group that created them is recouping their loss by selling the results as pets.
I have more of an issue when we do this kind of thing just because we can, or to create designer pets.
 

iloveengl

I have more of an issue when we do this kind of thing just because we can, or to create designer pets.

This is where most of my indignation and outrage lies - when animals are deformed (fish, dogs, cats, etc.) for aesthetics, especially to the point that it disrupts their quality of life.

And yes certainly some (or more likely many) danios were harmed in the initial phases of the research. I shouldn't have been so flippant about that possibility. I simply don't view their origins and current existence the same way I do balloon fish or persian cats.

All points equal, a glofish will live the same as an unmodified danio: obnoxiously and in someone else's tank. ;D
 

jetajockey

That's the future of this method, IMO. Creating a better creature can be scary when the definition of 'better' is completely subjective. In this instance we see that they were created with the purpose of environmental monitoring, so it's more acceptable to us. If this is happening with danios, then it won't be long before other fish pop up, if there is a market for it, it will happen.

I don't particularly like glofish (my kids do), or zebra danios, but just because of that I shouldn't give it any less concern than a particular species that I am passionate about.

Lots of people love male FH's with that huge hump on their head and I can't figure out the appeal, I just hope they don't attach one of those humps to my guppies. guppyhorns!
 

psalm18.2

WOW, lots of responses on this one! Interesting debate. I was on the fence w/ that question. Leviticus19:19 talks about not crossing different breeds of animals or plants. I have decided not to own an unnatural animal or support the science behind it. Thanks for the responses. We are all allowed to have different opinions and thoughts, thanks for sharing yours.


PS
What's up w/ those danios? No one seems to like em?
 
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mel19c

I have a background in molecular biology. So although I don't have any reference material handy, I do know my facts.

That being said, the process for creating original GloFish using microinjection is the same technique used for in vitro fertilization. For IVF, sperm is microinjected into the egg to fertilize it the same way fluorescent protein DNA is microinjected into fish eggs. The fluorescent protein DNA comes from other marine animals like jellyfish, so it's a naturally occurring phenomenon.

It's probably true that the first few GloFish and IVF pregancies did not work exactly as planned, but the techniques for both procedures are more advanced and success rates are much higher. Besides the new generations of GloFish can be bred the "natural" way and microinjections are no longer needed.

Furthermore, GloFish were created with the intention of advancing scientific research that would benefit people and other living things. For example, gene therapy for cancer research or environmental research. I lost my mother to cancer, so cancer research is an important cause to me.

For that reason, I think GloFish are awesome. I haven't owned Danios of any variety, but I would consider trying them. Plus, I think GloFish look cool.
 

sirdarksol

Besides the new generations of GloFish can be bred the "natural" way and microinjections are no longer needed.

However, in the realm of ethics, the fact that we don't have to do harm now to breed them does not negate harm that was done previously.
It's a very seductive type of argument that, sadly, wins out all too often today. "Well, things are okay now, so they must have always been okay."

I like (even if I don't completely agree with) most of the rest of your post, though. Very well said.
 

mel19c

However, in the realm of ethics, the fact that we don't have to do harm now to breed them does not negate harm that was done previously.
It's a very seductive type of argument that, sadly, wins out all too often today. "Well, things are okay now, so they must have always been okay."

In an ideal world, everything would work the first time we try it. In reality, you often have to try many times before you get things right. Think of how far we've come in fishkeeping because of trial and error leading to discoveries. When people first started keeping fish, do you think they knew about the nitrogen cycle and water chemistry? Did they know about stocking compatibility? Did they know about proper nutrition and feeding for fish? Keeping fish in improper conditions is harmful to them. No matter how well we treat our fish, that doesn't negate the harm that was done in the past. Are we being unethical by using the knowledge gained from past mistakes?

I don't think so. I think it would be unethical to continue making the same mistakes. With GloFish that isn't being done. Mistakes were learned from, techniques were perfected and the fish are now bred like any other fish.
 

sirdarksol

In an ideal world, everything would work the first time we try it. In reality, you often have to try many times before you get things right. Think of how far we've come in fishkeeping because of trial and error leading to discoveries. When people first started keeping fish, do you think they knew about the nitrogen cycle and water chemistry? Did they know about stocking compatibility? Did they know about proper nutrition and feeding for fish? Keeping fish in improper conditions is harmful to them. No matter how well we treat our fish, that doesn't negate the harm that was done in the past. Are we being unethical by using the knowledge gained from past mistakes?

I don't think so. I think it would be unethical to continue making the same mistakes. With GloFish that isn't being done. Mistakes were learned from, techniques were perfected and the fish are now bred like any other fish.

Agreed, but learning from past mistakes isn't what I'm talking about. I am referring to the idea that, because breeding GloFish now doesn't do any harm, that the process that produced GloFish was harmless.
 

Danni

These are still not as bad as the tattoo fish....
 

sirdarksol

These are still not as bad as the tattoo fish....

I definitely agree with you here. ;D
 

Danni

That should be a stopped practice! Kind of like keeping angels in a 10 gallon tank which is ok with some people I guess.

I just wonder when some people will really think that fish are not that disposable and really care about them. Maybe I'm just weird or I'm not cold hearted??? I don't know!
 

Meenu

That should be a stopped practice! Kind of like keeping angels in a 10 gallon tank which is ok with some people I guess.

I just wonder when some people will really think that fish are not that disposable and really care about them. Maybe I'm just weird or I'm not cold hearted??? I don't know!

Most members of this site would agree that fish are not disposable. You certainly aren't alone in feeling this way.
 

psalm18.2

mel19c you bring up an interesting point w/ medical research. I do believe in medical research and the value it plays in our world. I didn't think of it that way. I just like the idea of animals/people being made the natural way. If they were to glow naturally I think I'd own one. Maybe that's the part that bothers me about the GloFish. Another thing is that they cannot be released into the wild. Why and what would happen if they were? So basically it's a "man-made" fish. Makes me wonder if my dog was "man-made" somewhere along the way? Being serious, not making fun here. But then again, why are goldfish orange and not yellow like in nature? So many things to ponder...
 

fishingman001

mel19c you bring up an interesting point w/ medical research. I do believe in medical research and the value it plays in our world. I didn't think of it that way. I just like the idea of animals/people being made the natural way. If they were to glow naturally I think I'd own one. Maybe that's the part that bothers me about the GloFish. Another thing is that they cannot be released into the wild. Why and what would happen if they were? So basically it's a "man-made" fish. Makes me wonder if my dog was "man-made" somewhere along the way? Being serious, not making fun here. But then again, why are goldfish orange and not yellow like in nature? So many things to ponder...

Technically dogs evolved from wolves but the ones now like neapolitan mastiffs and gray hounds are selectively bred for certain traits.

People just want to make thing to get money. I know glofish were first made for a purpose but other fish like tattooed mollys and fish like that are only made for money.
Glofish IMO are great and will go in my tank that I will set up in a couple years.
 

mel19c

You shouldn't release any pets into the wild. For one thing, domesticated animals are often less likely to survive in the wild because they aren't used to fending for themselves.

If they do survive, they can mess up the ecosystem. Fish are sold and shipped from all over the world. If you release your fish, you will not be releasing them in their natural habitat. You will be introducing a new species to a ecosystem, which can outcompete the natural inhabitants and disrupt the balance.
 

sirdarksol

Actually, of all of the species that humankind has had a hand in "creating," GloFish are the least likely to cause damage. They are essentially swimming signs that say "eat me."

That being said, as mel explained, releasing animals into the wild is not a good idea. There is a swampy area near me that has been overrun with goldfish and apple snails. The area has become horribly muddy, as most of the aquatic plants have been eaten by the goldies and the snails. All of this probably started when a resident released the contents of their tank into the water.
I've read dozens of stories similar to this. Sometimes it's due to purposeful stocking (such as Asiatic carp in the Midwest), and sometimes it's because of a single person releasing a handful of fish (such as the snakehead infestation in Maine).
 

Meenu

I'd have to agree that the company stating that you cannot release the fish into the wild is a responsible message, not a negative thing. (And yes, I'm aware that a lawyer told them to put it in there so they don't get sued if there is a Glofish infestation in a natural body of water.)
 

sirdarksol

I'd have to agree that the company stating that you cannot release the fish into the wild is a responsible message, not a negative thing. (And yes, I'm aware that a lawyer told them to put it in there so they don't get sued if there is a Glofish infestation in a natural body of water.)

I wouldn't doubt that it was actually a legitimate concern to the company, considering the point of the fish was to find polluted water.

On the flipside, I'm amused that the intended purpose of the fish was to release them into the water. Maybe they had some idea of containment in mind, though.
 

Parlay

From what I read they wanted some sort of chemical reaction between the fish and the pollutants to turn the danios into glowing fish. That way they could easily find the pollutants. Although it makes me think maybe it was a proof of concept sort of experiment... But they never did mange to trigger the little guys to turn bright. They just made them all bright.
 

Meenu

Maybe they had some idea of containment in mind, though.
Hmm... I'd just always assumed they did. Never even considered otherwise.
 

sirdarksol

From what I read they wanted some sort of chemical reaction between the fish and the pollutants to turn the danios into glowing fish. That way they could easily find the pollutants. Although it makes me think maybe it was a proof of concept sort of experiment... But they never did mange to trigger the little guys to turn bright. They just made them all bright.

I understood that. What I was saying was that the whole point of them (as I understood it) was to let a group of them loose in a potentially polluted waterway, and to use the locations of where they started glowing as a map to potentially point out sources of pollution.
 

catman3

Ok I personaly don't buy them because they look too unnatural for me and I'm not a fan of gea geneticaly engineered animals. I know that the glofish was made by crossing parts of jellyfish dna with zebra danio eggs thus creating a new color that could be breed over and over. They don't inject eggs any more the fish just lay them. Also please stop baging on the zebra danio just because their needs werent met in your tank dosnt mean they are a bad fish. I understan that they can be mean as heck but that should be concidered before adding them to a group of chiclids or gourmI they need 5 atleast in a school and a 10 gallon minimum plus othr fast moving fish. I love mine I keep them with corry and a dawrf gourmi. But back to the subject no I don't like the glofish

sorry about the typos in the above paragraph my key board was sticking bad also I meant no disrespect to anyone with the "needs werent met" part
 
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Parlay

I don't want to get off topic but I don't believe we were "bagging" on danios any more in this thread than in any other thread about them.
I dislike them, their needs were met in my tank, they're just psychotic. That's how I feel about them, but I'd never tell someone NOT to get them (or Glo-Fish for that matter), I'd just tell them what I know about them, and that I personally dislike them.
Please don't claI'm their needs are not being met in other members tanks in a thread not about our tanks. Thank you.

EDIT-You ninja'd my own comment about offending me in a post. Don't stress about it, it just rubbed me the wrong way.
 
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jetajockey

Zebra danios have been an aquarium staple for decades, way up on the list. I don't think its very fair to label them as a psychotic or killer species for some incidents of aggression. I've had male guppies and platys that were just as crazy, heck I had to pull a bn pleco a few days ago for staking the entire side of the tank that I feed them on as his own, attacking fish, shrimp, and even snails as they got too close.

The kids really like the glofish, so they sell. I think most everyone has that fluorescent rainbow gravel and decor, glofish, and blacklight tank phase, even if it is in thought alone.
 

Maeby

I do think it is interesting that in a thread debating ethics in fish keeping that people are ascribing human characteristics such as psychosis to fish when they are behaving in the most natural way possible given the unnatural conditions that we keep them in...
 

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