from genetically modified cattle is coming to a supermarket near you! U.S.
regulators gave the all clear for the sale of beef from gene-edited cattle in
coming years after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concluded the animals
do not raise any safety concerns. This marks the third genetically altered
animal for human consumption in the US after salmon and pigs. Recombinetics,
the company in charge of this project, has used technology called CRISPR in
order to alter cows to have short, slick coats that let them more easily
withstand hot weather. This results in the cows packing more weight in an
easier manner leading to more overall meat production. This is similar to the
difference in chicken size today vs in the 1950s.
“Unlike the salmon and pigs, the cattle did not have to go
through a years long approval process. The FDA said the cattle were exempt from
that because their genetic makeup is similar to other existing cattle and the
trait can be found naturally in some breeds” (Choi, 2022). This edited trait is
able to be passed down through reproductive measures and requires no additional interference on behalf of the scientists.
While I do not agree with the science being conducted in this
piece, I certainly found it quite interesting how fast the FDA approved its
decision. Maybe it is an industry thing with money at its center, but I believe
that not many people will be on board with eating these “new” cattle. At this
point in time there are many more questions than answers and we can only wait
and see how the success of this genetic achievement plays out.