An application to conduct field trials of a genetically modified crop containing Omega-3 fatty acids normally found in oily fish has been submitted.
By substituting synthetic versions of up to seven genes from marine algae, the researchers have engineered Camelina plants to produce two key Omega-3 fatty acids normally obtained from oily fish, EPA and DHA.
"By the end of this decade, there's a possibility that people will be able to obtain a GM plant-based source of fish oils," Prof Napier said.Ring any bells? How about this, from a novel written in 1951?
His first appearance as a possibly disruptive spanner on the neat machinery of the edible oil interests occurred when he walked into the offices of the Arctic and European Fish-Oil company and produced a bottle of pale pink oil in which he proposed to interest them.
The first thing they discovered about it was that it was not a fish-oil, anyway: it was vegetable, though they could not identify the source. The second revelation was that it made most of their best fish-oils look like grease-box fillers.
'Do you mean that it is some new species? Because if it merely some improved strain more easily processed...'
'I understand that it is a new species - something quite new.'
'Then you haven't actually seen it yourself? It may, in fact, be some modified kind of sunflower?'
'I have seen a picture, senhor. I do not say there is no sunflower there at all. I do not say there is no turnip there. I do not say there is no nettle, or even no orchid there. But I do say that if they were all fathers to it they would none of them know their child. I do not think it would please them greatly either.'
(John Wyndham: The Day of the Triffids)