Think genetically modified salmon is a bad idea?
Wait ‘til you hear what kind of GMO animals Recombinetics, Inc., the “Monsanto of the genetically modified animal industry,” wants to unleash on the market.
Among other things, Recombinetics wants to genetically engineer pigs specifically to withstand a miserable life in factory farms.
Not only that, but the St. Paul, Minn.-based biotech company wants to keep the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) from having anything to do with regulating GMO pigs, or any other GMO animals that could end up in the U.S. food supply.
Recombinetics president & CEO Tammy Lee Stanock recently published an opinion piece that argued for ending FDA oversight of genetically modified animals in favor of “putting the USDA exclusively in charge of regulating all food animals.”
The advantage for Recombinetics is obvious. The FDA uses its regulations for animal drugs to review the safety of genetically modified food animals, such as GMO salmon. But the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has no process whatsoever for evaluating the safety of animals created through novel technologies, including the gene editing technology used by Recombinetics.
If the company’s plan succeeds, this would be the most drastic deregulation of biotechnology to date—and gene editing is just too risky to deregulate.