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Special Issue



A devastating storm

All about salmon’s living

Condition in Panama

What is it ?

A new Breed?

All explanations about their creation


Actors and victims

All about GM salmon’s traffic

AquaBounty’s salmon’s case




Consum’science had

always wanted to

demonstrate our

authenticity through

subjects that inspire

us and concerns the

entire world.

We decided to create

a magazine which is

a mix of science and

consummation dayto-day.

Consum’science’s concept

Our team, composed of the scientist, Marie Pfleger, the

wildlife officer, Romane Dufour, and the executive

editor, Léa Schultz, hope that you will enjoy this special

issue about the transgenic salmon.

Our objective: to warn you!

We are here to deliver you every secret behind all your

daily life.

We also want to deliver all things you can do to protect

the earth, we are engaged in the protection of the earth,

wildlife and your health.

All about

GM Salmons



5 - 6

7 - 8

9 - 10



13 - 14


16 - 17


19 - 20


Presentation, what happened?

AquaBounty, genetical magician

Who they are, where they are, their goal.

The GM Salmon, a new breed?

Birth, injected genes, outgrowing size…

“Frankenfish”s’ escape

From the river to the sea, a worldwide problem

Any rules ?

The risks

Any solution?

Current research. Is it possible?


Ms Dantzer – scientist in the Centre National de

Recherche Scientifique of Strasbourg

M. Colin – scientist in the department of

neurogenetics and Translational Medicine






What happened?


The genetically modified salmons open a debate in the entire world,

especially in the USA. People are not ready to eat something genetically

modified, despite FDA’s (food and drug administration) authorisation. On

the opposite of what people generally think, it is not a problem for our health

but it is an important environment’s problem.

“These kinds of fish are the future.”

Says Luis Lamastus, AquaBounty’s owner

It has been 3 days since the weather alert has spread all over central America.

On the 6 th October 2016, a devastating storm made an airplane heading

towards Panama crash into the Chagres River in central Panama. It

contained genetically modified salmon eggs that had to be delivered to the

american owned fish farm AquaBounty located in Boquete. This incident

seemed like anodyne but in fact it is a major environment problem.

AquaBounty is a fish farm specialized in breeding and raising genetically

modified salmons mostly for the United States market. Now the American

continent is not the only one concerned, but the whole world: the salmon

eggs have escaped into the river and headed into the oceans.

Consum’science 5.



Boquete is situated on

the west Panama’s side.

There are 19 000

inhabitants for a

surface area of 14 322


The devastating storm has

created a huge and irremediable

disaster. Welcome to

Aquadvantage ordeal…

Consum’science 6.


Genetical magician


The Aquabounty case touches all the world. To understand where does it

come from, we will take you at the origin of the fish's creation, to the problem

that the storm had highlighted.

It all begun in Canada. We went there to understand how it worked.

We saw the fish farm on Prince-Edouard's island, where the eggs of the

transgenic salmons are created.

We learned that the concept of the transgenic salmon was first imagined by

a research team in the university of Toronto and in the university "Memorial

de Terre-Neuve".

Aquadvantage, based in Massachusetts, decided to develop the concept,

beside the Canadian researchers. Rapidly, Aquadventage company began to

initiate the egg's creation in Canada.

The eggs, genetically modified grow rapidly to become adult salmons. Very

few countries accept to breed this kind of animals because people reject

genetically modified animals, especially for the consumption.

Only one country has accepted: Panama. For the company, Aquabounty

earns a lot of money and Panama can take advantage of this lucrative


Panama made a business deal with the USA. The Food and Drug

Administration (FDA) said that the consumption of transgenic salmon is

accepted in the USA but not its creation and breeding.

...and other discovering will surprise you.

Consum’science 7.

"They tried many countries but they were afraid to start something


-Arap's Giovanni Lauri, the administrator of the Water Resource

Authority of Panama

Those fish are, when they

have reached an adult size,

sent to the USA to be bought

by us, the consumers. We

can find them at

supermarkets, restaurants,

fishmongers… everywhere!

It’ a good advantage for food

enterprise because of the

cheaper price.

According to the FDA,

there is no impact for our

health if we eat some

transgenic salmons. But

for the environment, it’s

more serious. Due to the

escape of the GM eggs

into the sea, the impact

becomes international :

the whole salmon

population is concerned,

it’s new endangered

species .

Fish farm of Aquadventage in

Boquete (Panama)

Consumu’science 8.

The GM salmon, a new breed?


The salmon genetically modified by the Canadian company Aquabounty allows

one ethical but also scientific questioning. It is in this article where you can

find all the scientific answers in questions you are asking yourselves. Here we

will raise the subject of the transgenesis, we will name the genes implicated in

those salmons and we will see the consequences of such modifications.

How can we modify a gene?

We can make it by transgenesis

and it is directly made in a cell egg of

a body. We modify the sequence of

nuclenotides of a DNA fragment

which codes for a gene. By

modifying it, we create a new allelle

of this gene: a new version. Then

another protocol begins within the

cell so that the gene expresses

himself: the transcription and the

translation to create a protein.

The DNA is in the pit of cells but so

that these genes express themselves

it is necessary to produce a protein.

For that purpose, an enzyme:

polymerase ARN separates both

stalks to make ARN pre-messenger.

It contains only a single stalk and

uses too an alphabet in 4 letters: in,

C, G and U (T included in the stalks

of DNA is replaced by U), its sugar is

the ribose and this chain of

nucleotide is made by

complementarity for the stalk of

transcribed or not coding DNA. It is

the transcription! ARN being

finer, it crosses easily in the pores of

pits to join the cytoplasm.

Consum’science 9.

After this stage, ARN is subjected to the splicing which shortens it in the main

part to code one, only one protein because according to his splicing ARN can

code for other proteins.

And to finish, mature said ARN undergo the translation, made by means of the

genetic code and so to create the polypeptidique chain.

When the gene expresses himself in the way that the scientist wished

it, he so found the good GMO

And the Aquadvantage salmon?

In this case, the gene is directly modified in eggs of fish produced by the

company Aquabounty. Two genes are modified there with the aim of decreasing

their time of growth which passes from 3 years to 18 months.

Both modified genes arise from other fish. The first gene we modified, is the

gene coding for the growth hormone. Indeed, the scientist Aquabounty inserted

the gene which codes for this hormone at the salmon chinook. The second

modified gene is the one which codes for the said protein "anti-freeze agent" to

the pout, the Atlantic fish which so allows the GMO salmon to grow up all year

round while before it grew up only during certain periods of the year.

In conclusion, by modifying

two genes of the salmon, the

scientists allowed it to a stronger

growth. Indeed, by allying a

stronger growth hormone and an

anti-freeze protein, the salmons

saw their time of growth almost

divided by two.

Consum’science 10.

“Frankenfish’s” escape


Aquabounty’s goal is to feed the whole population with GM salmons but this

plan has been hampered by a wave of panic. Indeed, since the alert has been

spread, a lot of people have declared through social networks and the hashtag

“refusalmon”, not wanting to eat salmon anymore for fear of eating accidentally

a genetically modified salmon. This thought comes mainly from the influence

exercised by environmental organizations such as Greenpeace which has

declared that the risks linked to health problems which could be generated has

never been really known. Such a scandal can make wondering us about the

existence of previous signs that people refused to or could not see.

This is not the first time that an ecological disaster caused by an invasive

species occurs. Indeed, we have already heard about the Nile Perch brought in

Lake Victoria, in 1954, which had decimated half of the small aboriginal fishes

living in the Lake, in only 30 years. Another collateral damage is the one caused

by the blue tilapia since it has escaped, has caused the disappearance of

vegetation and some aboriginal species in

the Everglades National Park. Concerning

Aquabounty’s case, in 2014, a genetically

modified salmon escaped because of

another storm. Though this accident did

not led to any known negative impacts, the

company has established its security

installations more efficient.


Consum’science 11.

Any rules?

Aquabounty paid a $9500 fine imposed by Panama

authorities for repeated environmental security rules breaches.

Moreover, the company did not get the official licenses for water use and

water discharge before they started their operations. For all these reasons,

more and more people have doubts about the respect of laws and competence

of the company.

Another huge problem is that the supermarkets or fishmongers have no

obligation of labelling those GM fish.

The only way people have to be almost sure of not buying a genetically

engineered salmon was to go in supermarket which claimed not to sell these


"Science cannot prove that

this new gene-spliced

salmon is safe for human

consumption over a long

period of time," said

Darrell Rogers of the

Alliance for Natural

Health. "This recklessly and

needlessly endangers

human health."

Consum’science 12.

Why this escape constitutes a huge risk?

As reported by FDA, the

sterilization of Aquabounty’s

salmons only works in 95%

cases. Considering that there

were 5000 salmon eggs in the

airplane according to “Arap

officials”, 5% of these salmon

represents 250 salmons which

could potentially proliferate if

they all survived.

Furthermore, some engineers

proved that the escape of 60 GM

salmons could generate the

extinction of 60 000 wild

salmons. Nothing was proved

that the GM salmons would not

resist in warm sea water. They

would then be free “travel”

around the world. According to

a study of The Memorial

University of Newfoundland

published in 2013 .

Salmo trutta and GM salmon from

Aquabounty, generate 43% hybrids

having the growth hormone

engineered. However, these hybrids

grow up even faster than their

genetically modified parents.

Indeed, the hybrid takes 2.1% of its

weight each day whereas a GM

salmon takes 1.9% and a wild

salmon between 1.5 and 1.7%.

Nevertheless, the growth speed is

not the only consequence. The

hybrid fish becomes also aggressive

due to the important need for food.

Consum’science 13.


• GM salmons could outcompete the wild salmons and cause the extinction

of this species. But there are also other risks due to the voracity of these GM

salmons or other parameters.

• With their new type of genes, the salmons could settle in unusual zones

and bear lower temperatures. This transformation makes them stronger than

other aboriginal species.

The consequence of that could be the disappearance of smaller species.

• As seen before, the proliferation of the GM salmons with other species

could generate a genetic cross-breeding, especially that their large size makes

them more likely to proliferate.

• In keeping with Michael Hansen, a biologist of Consumer Union, the

consumption of GM salmons could generate allergies. The studies about this

risk by Aquabounty were too restricted. For this reason, he wanted the GM

salmons to be labelled in order to detect the negative effects but the company

refused and it is still uncertain that “Frankenfish” does not cause any health


• A last risk already present before the storm and concerning the animal

itself is that nowadays, animals are more and more consider as living beings

able to feel emotions instead of objects or consumptions goods.

Some studies demonstrated also that few GM salmons had potential damage

to organs causing in some cases cancers. So, it is a real ethic problem to

transfom an animal.

Considering that the Atlantic salmon is in the IUCN Red list and that 25%

disappeared this last 25 years, the GM salmon could easily decimate the last

wild salmons unless solutions exist.

Consum’science 14.


William Muir explained that the development of GM salmon is

more sustainable than the wild salmon.

William M. Muir is

Professor of


Departments of


Sciences and




However, this “safe and sustainable alternative” has been

paradoxically exceeded by the need to preserve the wild salmon

which was considered before as “not sustainable”.

“Once these fish escape, it is impossible

to retrieve them. And it may be extremely

difficult to contain the negative

environmental impacts of escaped fish.”

according to Dana Perls, Food and

Technology Campaigner at Friends of the


Because of all the risks that the GM salmon represents, most of the wild

salmon breeders have decided to put, as quickly as possible, their breeding in

water tanks just as GM salmons before. This measure fits into the “Wild Salmon

Saving” program.

On the other hand, once the GM salmon population will be significant, some

fish organizations already plan to sell these salmons and not necessary with

labels. But the wild salmon breeders and the environment organizations

vehemently object this idea.

Thus, both type of salmon could remain, nevertheless, the place where the

salmons grow up would be reverse and the GM salmon would become more

natural than the wild salmon itself.

Consum’science 15.



First, we went to the CNRS (national center of scientist research) in

France to meet Françoise DANTZER who is a director of research about cancer.

To work, she regularly uses GMO : she explained us the conception and how

the GMO are used.

Let’s watch the video:

We also went to the IGBMC ( the genetic and molecular and cellular biology

institute)Institut de génétique et de biologie moléculaire et cellulaire of

Strasburg where we met Florent COLIN

who is a project manager in the Department

of Neurogenetics and Translational

Medicine, and Stéphane ROTH who is the

manager of the Zebrafish department.

Zebrafish is a particular fish used by

research to create genetically modified

salmons, for their work about solutions for

human diseases. They explained us the

creation and development of the GMO and showed us how they do to collect

the eggs and modify them.

Consum’science 16

Here is an explication step by step with pictures to show you the creation

of the transgenetic eggs :


Plastic containers with adult


One male and one female separated

with a plastic separation between



In the morning, the fish manager

takes the separation between the

fish, when the male touches the

female’s stomach, it immediately

lays the eggs.


Then, they have to collect the eggs

with a sieve. The Zebrafish’s eggs are

transparent, this is really convenient

for researchers to do the fish

computer imaging.


To finish, they put the eggs on a

Petri dish, and the researcher can

insert the gene he wants,

corresponding to his work’s subject.

Consum’science 17.



To conclude this special issue, we cannot tell you what will

happen in the future for the transgenic salmons.

Sadly, the wild salmons may disappear because it’s already an

endangered species and there are more and more salmon


Many researches about solutions against the eggs escapes

are in progress. But not only, the researchers are actually trying

to find out if an organism genetically modified could exist in

the nature. It could be an animal but also a plant or something

else…we have to be careful!

In the USA, the GM salmon is not completely accepted by the population.

Many demonstrations take place, organizations like Greenpeace protest and

some supermarkets refuse to sell it.

Meanwhile a solution has been found, we encourage you to do your

maximum to preserve the planet and animals. The transgenic salmons are

probably healthy for us but the researchers are not totally sure, we can only rest

on the FDA’s

arguments. For the

environment, maybe it

would be wiser to stop

the GMO production

but with the constantly

increasing population,

it’s probably the only

solution for the future.

Consum’science 18.



• https://sds.revues.org/1558 - Sandrine Barrey, Maître de conférences en Sociologie

(Université de Toulouse 2) et membre du CERTOP (UMR CNRS 5044). 2012

• http://time.com/4120648/fda-approved-aquabounty-gmo-salmon/ - Alice Park, 19

November 2015, Alice Park is a staff writer at TIME. Since 1993, she has reported on the

breaking frontiers of health and medicine in articles covering issues such as AIDS, anxiety

and Alzheimer's disease. Her latest book is The Stem Cell Hope: How Stem Cell Medicine

Can Change Our Lives.


sources:infogm.org / bastamag.net / ecowatch.com 2015

-Membre fondateur d’Inf’OGM, salarié, rédacteur, rédacteur en chef, et webmaster,

Journaliste. Accro aux sujets complexes, des technosciences aux méandres de la spéculation

financière, pour les métamorphoser en articles d’éducation populaire…

- Wenonah Hauter is the executive director of Food & Water Watch. She has worked

extensively on food, water, energy and environmental issues at the national, state and local



2013- Christophe Noisette, Membre fondateur

d’Inf’OGM, salarié, rédacteur, rédacteur en chef, et webmaster

• http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/fr/actualites/saumon-ogm/

directrice générale, entrée en fonction à Greenpeace Canada

2010 - Joanna Kerr,


2015- Biotechnology and medical reporter Andrew

Pollack (The New York Times)


- Millot, Lorraine. Les saumons OGM bientôt dans les assiettes?. In : Libération

[en ligne]. SARL Libération, 25 janvier 2015 [consulté le 20 février 2017].

•http://www.pseudo-sciences.org/spip.php?article1653 2011- Louis-Marie HOUDEBINE

biologiste et directeur de recherche honoraire de l’INRA de Jouy en Josas

Consum’science 19.

•http://www.universalis-edu.com/encyclopedie/biotechnologies/ - universalis

•https://youtu.be/Q7O9MZZ7YRA 2013- Vidéo de « OGM Pacifique »


- Suzanne Goldenberg is the US environment

correspondent of the Guardian and is based in Washington DC. She has won several awards

for her work in the Middle East, and in 2003 covered the US invasion of Iraq from Baghdad.

She is author of Madam President, about Hillary Clinton's historic run for White House.


2010- Alain Godefroy


- Audrey Garric , Journaliste

au service Planète du Monde


g/GeneticallyEngineeredAnimals/ucm280853.htm 2016- FDA (Food and Drug



- Leslie Baehr is a Creative Science Writer with Linus where she helps shift

perceptions in science and healthcare through storytelling.

•http://www.fao.org/docrep/003/X9602f/x9602f07.htm - Groupe de l’édition. Les

organismes génétiquement modifiés : les consommateurs, la sécurité des aliments et

l'environnement. In : Archives de documents de la FAO [en ligne] . 2001 [consulté le 20

février 2017].


- Food and water watch [en ligne]. Editeur, 28

octobre 2014 [consulté le 20 février 2017].

Consum’science 20.

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