US approves breeding of gene-edited cattle

(ORDO NEWS) — The US has approved the production of beef from cattle whose genes have been changed to better withstand heat stress. These animals have been edited to be resistant to heat stress.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has labeled beef from genome-edited cattle as “low risk.” The conclusions were drawn after testing showed that the genomic change did not raise any safety concerns.

This means that the FDA does not need a developer of genetically edited cattle to obtain additional approval before bringing beef to market.

Why edit the genes of cattle?

US approves breeding of gene edited cattle 2

The American company Acceligen is breeding a breed of cattle known as PRLR-SLICK using CRISPR genome editing technology. The main purpose of the editing is to have animals with shorter, smoother coats to reduce their vulnerability to hot weather. The gene will be inherited.

FDA studies have shown that a smooth, short coat helps these animals better tolerate heat-related stress. As the climate crisis progresses, this problem is expected to become more and more prevalent.

How is CRISPR different from GMOs?

GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are based on the addition of genetic material from other organisms to the main organism. This leads to the appearance of animals or plants that do not exist in nature.

Gene editing (CRISPR) uses genes already present in a species, resulting in an organism that could theoretically be produced by natural reproduction.

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