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Will GMO-wary China accept virus-resistant CRISPR pigs?

| | May 23, 2019
Monsanto out of China
Chinese consumers remain skeptical of biotech following food safety scares
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

As China struggles to stem a contagious, hog-ravaging disease, a British company offers some hope. But it may first need to convince consumers and the government that it’s safe.

Genus Plc, one of the world’s largest animal genetics companies, has developed gene-edited pigs that resist a viral disease that spread across China’s farms more than a decade ago. It’s now also eyeing ways to stamp out a more lethal contagion: African swine fever, which is threatening to wipe out more than a quarter of the nation’s herd.

China bans so-called genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, in food, and consumers there are wary of them after numerous food-safety scandals.

Related article:  Mosquito massacre: Can we safely tackle malaria with a CRISPR gene drive?

The process may take several years …. The company is collaborating with Beijing Capital Agribusiness Co. (BCA), a livestock breeding firm part-owned by the Beijing municipal government.

Besides regulators, wooing consumers in China will also be “critical,” [Chief Operating Officer Bill] Christianson said. He points to a range of social and environmental benefits from raising gene-altered hogs, from shielding the animals from illness to helping reduce the use of antibiotics ….

Read full, original article: This British Firm Wants to Sell Virus-Resistant Pigs to China

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