March 5, 2008

"Enviropig": Less Pollution, More Questions

A little bit of genetic editing is all that’s required to slash the environmental damage caused by sewage from industrial pig farms, researchers in Canada say.

Salon.com reports that scientists in Guelph, Canada, have combined an E.Coli gene with a mouse protein, and spliced it into pigs to improve their ability to breakdown phytase, a natural substance rich in phosphorous.

In industrial conditions, phosphorous from superabundant pig sewage leaches into water supplies, causing algae blooms, fish kills, and similar ecological mayhem.

Now, advocates fear FDA approval of cloned meat for American consumption will open the door for the genetically modified “Enviropig,” as it’s been dubbed, to enter the marketplace and the ecosystem without proper testing.

In fact, that already happened in Canada, where a simple error saw 11 stillborn Enviropigs turned into poultry feed for a farm in Ontario, rather than incinerated as required by Canadian law.

Salon reports that none of affected birds, or their eggs, were kept from the market.

Source:

“Should biotech piggy go to market?”
Salon.com, March 4, 2008

2 thoughts on “"Enviropig": Less Pollution, More Questions

  1. No doubt this type of GM-pigs are good for the environment generally, but i m still quite worried about the human consumption of these pigs in the long term.