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IPFS News Link • Food And Drug Administration / F.D.A

Dangerous gene-edited pigs now authorized by Biden's Food and Drug Administration

•, by: JD Heyes

Gene editing involves making changes in an organism's DNA that would typically occur in nature or through selective breeding but would take longer without a tool like CRISPR.

While the FDA's authorization is limited to these specific pigs, it demonstrates that gene-editing livestock to quickly produce desirable traits for improved food production is a viable strategy for helping feed the planet's growing population, but of course, it will be with altered food that is not proven safe — like these pigs.

Jon Oatley, a professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences in Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, is working towards FDA approval for a line of gene-edited pigs and believes it's essential for universities to set a precedent by working with federal regulators to introduce these animals into the food supply, ensuring that the research isn't for naught.

"It's important for a university to set the precedent by working with federal regulators to get these animals introduced into the food supply," he told the outlet. "If we don't go through that process, all of the research we're doing is for naught because it will never make it out into the public."

Oatley is utilizing CRISPR, the dangerous gene-editing tool, to enhance genetic traits in livestock and is currently striving for FDA approval for a line of gene-edited pigs. He initiated the investigational food use authorization process for five gene-edited pigs to demonstrate that food derived from these animals is safe to consume and to establish that an academic institution can obtain this type of FDA approval.

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