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. Information that could be shared to inform the risk assessment process, include:

  • 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: Notification for an ornamental aquarium fish that fluoresces

Notifier: GloFish LLC

NSN number: 20011-20012

Substance designation:

  • GloFish® Cosmic Blue® Danio (Danio rerio genetically modified)-20011
  • GloFish® Galactic Purple® Danio (Danio rerio genetically modified)-20012

Start date of the assessment: May 9, 2019

Activity: Danio rerio (Hamilton 1822), commonly referred to as “zebra danio” or “zebrafish”, are tropical aquarium fish that have been in the aquarium trade in Europe since 1905 and in the United States since the 1940s. The genetically modified lines that are the subject of these notifications are also intended for use in home aquaria (ornamental trade) and have been sold in the United States since 2006.

Genetic modifications: The GloFish lines of fluorescent danios have been genetically engineered to express fluorescent proteins isolated from common marine invertebrates including corals and sea anemones. Expression of the genes encoding the fluorescent proteins are under the control of promoters isolated from fish.

Previous assessment: None

Public comments period: June 17, 2019 to July 2, 2019

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)
Facsimile: 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 initiatives

Substance designation Public comment period Public comments summary Published reports

GloFish® Sunburst Orange® Danio (Danio rerio genetically modified)

April 15, 2019 to

April 29, 2019

No comments received



AquAdvantage® salmon

Sept 14, 2018 to

Oct 12, 2018


Risk assessment report

Science advisory report

Gymnocorymbus ternetzi genetically modified

  • GloFish® Cosmic Blue® Tetra
  • GloFish® Sunburst Orange® Tetra and Long-Fin Sunburst Orange® Tetra
  • GloFish® Moonrise Pink® Tetra and Long-Fin Moonrise Pink® Tetra
  • GloFish® Galactic Purple® Tetra and Long-Fin Galactic Purple® Tetra
  • GloFish® Starfire Red® Tetra and Long-Fin Starfire Red® Tetra

July 12, 2018 to

July 26, 2018

No comments received Science advisory report
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