Tuesday, December 15, 2020

U.S. approves gene-edited pigs

The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved the first gene-edited pigs for production and sale of their meat.

They are likely to be used to produce medicines.

The Food and Drug Administration said the GalSafe pigs are likely to be used to produce medicines.

The gene editing has eliminated production of alpha-gal sugar on the surface of the pigs’ cells. 

People with Alpha-gal syndrome (AGS) may have mild to severe allergic reactions to alpha-gal sugar found in red meat. 

The medicines the pigs could produce include heparin, a blood thinner.

They might also eventually be used to produce organs for transplant to people alpha-gal sugar is believed to be a cause of rejection in patients. 

As part of its review, FDA concluded that food from GalSafe pigs is safe to eat. 

The National Pork Producers Council welcomed the approval as the first step in accepting gene editing that could bring many other benefits to hog producers.