Edit FDA Regulation for Genes

Arguing against regulations classifying livestock as drugs, the National Pork Producers Council wants the Food and Drug Administration to yield regulatory oversight to USDA for gene-edited animals raised for food.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue also told farmers over the weekend he would lobby President Donald Trump to make that happen.

On a call with reporters Tuesday, leaders with the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) explained that gene-editing technology could create opportunities to make pigs resistant to diseases such as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS).

Experts reiterated gene editing is a targeted process that doesn’t necessarily lead to inserting a new gene. Often the focus is to eliminate a gene that is tied to disease susceptibility. Such technology in breeding could lead to reduced antibiotic use by the livestock industry.

“As a veterinarian, that’s what excites me most about this technology is it offers a powerful new tool to combat, particularly diseases of livestock that are caused by viruses,” said Dan Kovich, deputy director of science and technology for NPPC.

Click here to read more of this Ohio Country Journal article by Chris Clayton.