Voluntary public engagement initiative

Public engagement on the risk assessment of higher organisms under the New Substances Program

Environment and Climate Change Canada and Health Canada are working together to promote more public engagement in the risk assessment of higher organisms (e.g., genetically modified plants and animals) under the New Substances Program.

The New Substances Program will publish summaries of higher organism notifications and invite stakeholders to share scientific information and test data related to potential risks to the environment or human health from the new living organisms. This information could help inform the risk assessment process, such as:

  • environmental fate information
  • ecological effects information
  • human health effects information or
  • exposure information (sources, routes of exposure, etc.)

Please provide information in English or French. Your information may be summarized and published in part or in full, along with your name and affiliation. Please be sure to identify any confidential business information so that it may be protected.

Include your name, affiliation, telephone number, e-mail and mailing address and use the following format in the title of your submission: Public Participation: [add NSN] – [add Substance Designation].

Active engagement initiative

Title: New Notification related to AquAdvantage® salmon

Notifier: Aquabounty Technologies Inc.

NSN number: 19702

Substance designation: AquAdvantage® salmon

Start date of the assessment: July 28, 2018

Activity: AquaBounty Technologies is constructing new production facilities to meet the growing global demand for AquAdvantage salmon. One facility will be used to produce eggs for farming of AquAdvantage salmon in the company’s facilities in Canada, the United States and Panama. The other facilities will be used to produce AquAdvantage salmon for commercial sale in Canada and/or export to other countries.

Genetic modifications: AquAdvantage salmon was developed by engineering a St. John River salmon with two genes from the Pacific salmon and from the Ocean Pout for expression of a growth hormone gene in AquAdvantage salmon. AquAdvantage salmon reaches a size of 100 g faster than non-engineered counterparts.

Previous assessment: AquAdvantage salmon, NSN 16528

Public comments period: Sept 14, 2018 to Oct 12, 2018

Where to send your submission  

Substances Management Information Line
Information Management and Data Collection
Science and Technology Branch
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Place Vincent Massey, 351 St. Joseph Blvd
Gatineau, QC, K1A 0H3
Telephone:  1-800-567-1999 (Toll Free in Canada)
Telephone:  1-819-938-3232 (Outside of Canada)
Fascimile: 1-819-938-5212
E-mail: eccc.substances.eccc@canada.ca

Comments can also be submitted to the New Substances Program using the online reporting system available through Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Single Window.

Past engagement initiative

Title: Notification for five ornamental aquarium fish that fluoresce

Notifier: Spectrum Brands

NSN number: 19575-19576-19577-19578-19579

Substance designation:

  • GloFish® Cosmic Blue® Tetra (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi genetically modified)-19575
  • GloFish® Sunburst Orange® Tetra and Long-Fin Sunburst Orange® Tetra (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi genetically modified)-19576
  • GloFish® Moonrise Pink® Tetra and Long-Fin Moonrise Pink® Tetra (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi genetically modified)-19577
  • GloFish® Galactic Purple® Tetra and Long-Fin Galactic Purple® Tetra (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi genetically modified)-19578
  • GloFish® Starfire Red® Tetra and Long-Fin Starfire Red® Tetra (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi genetically modified)-19579

Start date of the assessment: June 16, 2018

Activity: Gymnocorymbus ternetzi, commonly referred to as “black skirt tetra”, are tropical aquarium fish that have been in the aquarium trade in the United States since at least 1950. The genetically modified lines that are the subject of these notifications are also intended for use in the home aquaria (ornamental trade) and have been sold in the United States since 2012.

Genetic modifications: The GloFish line of fluorescent tetras has been genetically engineered to express fluorescent proteins isolated from common marine invertebrates, including corals and sea anemones. The fluorescent proteins and other inserted genetic material are well characterized. Expression of the genes that encode the fluorescent proteins is under the control of promoters isolated from fish.

Previous assessment: Glofish® Electric Green® Tetra

Public comments period: July 12, 2018 to July 26, 2018

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