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Feb 6, 2017

Salmon and calves reframe biotech debate

What do a fast-growing salmon and two hornless calves have in common? In recent days they've ushered in a new era of food production and reframed the genetic engineering debate. It began when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first GE animal, a fast-growing salmon, for human consumption. Then Recombinetics, in collaboration with researchers at the University of California-Davis, unveiled two healthy dairy calves that were born without horns, thanks to a new gene-editing process. While the calves are a long way from deregulation or market, both announcements signal a shift in the decades-old regulatory logjam that has effectively blocked the advancement of animal biotechnology. The two projects also effectively demonstrate that biotech can make meaningful contributions to environmental sustainability and animal welfare. And they underscore a key message of the Alliance for Science: Each genetically engineered crop and animal must be evaluated on its own merits, with an eye toward the product, not the process. Read the article.

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