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It took two decades for the first genetically engineered animal to get approved for your dinner. Now that AquAdvantage salmon—with DNA engineered from three species—is moving forward, more genetically modified meat is likely to follow. But it’s not clear how long that will take.
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The complicated, ultra-long regulatory process means few companies are willing to try to bring genetically modified meat to market. “If you don’t have a fixed timeline to get a regulatory decision back, it provides a very unpredictable pathway for a company that might want to commercialize,” says Alison Van Eenennaam, an animal scientist at the University of California, Davis. . . .
So why bother? In the case of the salmon, the new farmed fish uses fewer resources to grow. . . .
For other animals, genetic engineering for disease resistance could also drastically save resources, and might be one way to help meet a skyrocketing global demand for meat more sustainably.
“We lose 20% of all animal protein to disease,” says Van Eenennaam. “I think disease resistant animals fit into every single sustainability box you want to mention—animals don’t suffer, they don’t use antibiotics, their productivity’s better. . . we could actually make a difference with this technique in a way that we couldn’t using conventional breeding.”
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The FDA can’t legally disclose the products it’s evaluating, so it’s hard to say what might be next. But Van Eenennaam, like others studying genetic engineering, is hoping that the next animal will have an easier path.
Read full, original post: What Genetically Engineered Animal Will Land On Your Dinner Plate Next?