November 14, 2012

Glofish Controversy

Glofish are genetically modified (GM) fish that were originally intended detect pollution through fluorescence. They also happened to make great aquarium fish. While we haven't tried it yet, you can apparently hold up a black light and watch this suckers glow (mostly due to the lack of a black light). The fish are nice, they school, and they are way better than goldfish which are apparently one of the toughest fishes to maintain since they each poop their body weight everyday, building up enough ammonia to fertilize a forest. Thus, goldfish need something like 10 gallons per fish. Glofish, on the other hand, are smaller and only need a few gallons per fish, so our 8 gallon tank was fine and we no longer had to worry about the pet store interrogating us about our tank size. Of course, people freak when the acronym GM is brought up, turning any rational instruction into an emotional one. I, for one, am for GM foods. I have read the literature and GM foods have the ability to feed the world's growing population at a lower cost and with less chemicals. As it turns out, we humans have been genetically modifying our food for as long as we have been around; splicing this crop with that crop, and seeing what happens, in other words, rolling the environmental dice. GM allows us to change crops at the gene level, which is much less risky, and can produce crops that are resistant to bugs without the use of pesticides and grow better without the use of large amounts fertilizers or water. I digress. Anyhow, Glofish were apparently another threat in the GM saga, but quickly lost out in all states of the union except, you guessed it, California, where nothing fun is allowed.
glofish in an aquarium with a plant