GM researchers in the US have published research that indicates that farm animals could be modified to produce omega-3 fish oils.

A research team led by Jing Kang of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School slotted a gene from an earthworm into the genetic code of mice to enable them to convert ordinary fatty acids (omega-6) into the healthier omega-3 variety found in fish.

According to a report in Nature, these mice had a far higher level of omega-3 than normal mice. They also bred normally, passing the transplanted gene onto their offspring.

The study authors suggest that the experiment could one day be extended to farmyard animals to create healthier meat, milk and eggs.

However, any such plans will have to overcome opposition from parties concerned about the ramifications of genetically modifying animals.