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Old Macdonald Had a Farm and It Was GMO

Though the technology for the GM modification of animals has been around for a while, the number of GM animals was limited. Last month the FDA gave a nod to the first GM bovines who are slick coat and heat tolerant cows. The regulatory process was somewhat streamlined for the cows which are based on a science called recombinetics. The first animal to win GM approval from FDA was a fast-growing salmon called AquaAdvantage in 2015, and approval was a 20+ year journey. However, consumer pressure against GM foods has limited the sale of the salmon and other GM animal foods. It is unclear whether meat from the new GM cows will make it onto grocery store shelves, but it is clear that the regulatory path has been faster and improved. The new cows weren’t approved so much as determined to be “low risk”.  The new regulation for the cows seems to be based more on outcomes than process and methods.

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Posted on 20 April 2022