Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A GMO lamb on our plates – Le Figaro

Issue of a research program conducted by the National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA), a genetically modified lamb was marketed by mistake in October 2014.

A genetically modified with a jellyfish protein in finished lamb dishes! That’s the surprising information that reveals, in a Le Parisien of Tuesday, June 23 The lamb, called “Ruby” genetically modified within the scope of a project launched by the National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA), ended up in the food chain last fall and was marketed.

It all began in 2009 when INRA is launching a program called “Green Sheep” which “was to understand, in sheep, animal ‘model’ for man cell transplantation to restore a failing heart function after myocardial infarction, “explains INRA in a statement. Thus, “to assess the viability of such grafts, it was necessary to have animals expressing a protein called ‘GFP’ (Green fluorescent protein) to make their fluorescent cells” as among the jellyfish, adds INRA.

Ruby, end of the program, was sent to the abattoir with normal animals and meat was on sale and bought by an individual in Ile-de-France, writes the daily quoting sources of INRA and judicial sources.

No health risk

INRA, which ensures that the consumption of this meat presents no health risk, ordered an internal investigation before to go to court last week for “placing on the market of a product consisting of genetically modified organisms or containing such organisms,” says the newspaper. The Institute puts forward “malicious acts” on the part of employees of the municipality of animal testing unit (UCEA) but many shortcomings were identified on the websites of Jouy-en-Josas (Yvelines) and Bressonvilliers (Essonne).

According to the Parisien, a conflictual relationship between two employees of the site could be the origin of this case. One wanted to trap the second, his team leader, into signing the delivery of the genetically modified female lamb, a sheep flock from “normal.” Not noticing the error a week later, the team leader would have decided not to inform his superiors immediately. This is only a week after the release of the animal that man would have prevented the management of the slaughterhouse.

“The facts are unacceptable and call the greatest severity. We are a world-class institute, we can not tolerate such behavior, “said the Paris Benedict Malpaux, director of INRA site of Jouy-en-Josas. In a context of proliferation of cases involving the quality and safety of meat in a country marked by the scandal of the “mad cow”, justice was seized by the management of INRA. Prosecutors in Meaux referred the case to the public health division of the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Paris.

(With agencies)


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