Maryland Becomes First State to Ban Open-Water Genetically Engineered Fish Production

Following on the heels of the recent Greenpeace action to "quartine" Aquabounty's genetically engineered fish facility, Maryland passed a law outlawing open water production of the experimental fish. Maryland is the first state to take precautionary measures to limit genetically engineered (GE) fish production. Citing concerns over native fish threats, the Maryland governor signed a bill that restricts GE fish production to contained ponds and lakes.

The new five-year law goes into effect on October 1, 2001. At which time, aquaculture operations of nonnative species will be required to use nontidal ponds, lakes or impoundments, and ensure that GE fish cannot be introduced into the wild by other means, such as by feeding birds that pluck fish from the water, and then drop them.

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