GM Cows, Chickens, Pigs… We Can Build Whatever Animal You Want To Eat, Say Scientists
September 21, 2010
TINKER with the genetics of salmon and maybe you create a revolutionary new food source that could help the environment and feed the hungry.
Or maybe you’re creating what some say is an untested “frankenfish” that could cause unknown allergic reactions and the eventual decimation of the wild salmon population.
The US Food and Drug Administration hears both arguments this week when it begins a two-day meeting on whether to approve the marketing of the genetically engineered fish, which would be the first such animal approved for human consumption.
The agency has already said the salmon, which grows twice as fast as conventional salmon, is as safe to eat as the traditional variety.
Approval of the salmon would open the door for a variety of other genetically engineered animals, including an environmentally friendly pig that is being developed in Canada or cattle that are resistant to mad cow disease.
“For future applications out there the sky’s the limit,” David Edwards of the Biotechnology Industry Association said.
“If you can imagine it, scientists can try to do it.”