Genetically modified pigs that excrete less waste may be euthanized before they could be slaughtered for human consumption, according to a report out of Canada. The current herd of Enviropigs, which digest their feed more efficiently, just lost their funding.
Scientists at the University of Guelph in Ontario developed the first Enviropig in 1999, according to Reuters. Ontario Pork, a hog farming association, had provided more than $1 million (Canadian) to fund the project, which so far has yielded eight generations of Enviropigs. They just pulled the plug: "We think we took the genetic research as far as it could possibly go," Keith Robbins, the group's spokesman, told Reuters.
Unless the university finds other funds, it will euthanize the current herd of 16 animals, the Reuters report said, citing Lori Bona Hunt, a spokeswoman for the University of Guelph. Their genetic material will be cryogenically preserved and could potentially still be studied.
Enviropig's research team had applied for approval to sell the animals for human consumption in the U.S. and Canada. Neither the Food and Drug Administration nor Health Canada has made a decision.
The FDA is still supposed to rule at any time — that's been the case for months — on the sale of genetically modified salmon for human consumption. Whatever happens with the fish, it looks like it will not be accompanied by genetically modified bacon.
No genetic food. Just food. Yeah, food. Not messing around with the chance that our environmentals act in a disastrous way and create a scenario we don't like to think about. Triploid fish are mushy and nasty. They are not food. They are lab rats in an ocean of mercury, a known radical mutagenic. More and more barrels of waste and raw toxins rot out each day now, and someday triploids will encounter some. That's the real test for triploids, right? Yummy.
They genetically modified pigs to produce less waste? Really? First they praise "mother nature", then they **** nature up.
I'm not sure I follow why it's more disturbing to you that a triploid will mutate compared to any other fish. I agree that toxins and mutagens in the ocean are a problem - but if a fish is going to mutate, is it necessarily worse that it is from a generation of mutants?
Animal waste from farms is a real environmental problem that scientists are trying to solve - really. The goal is to save nature, not eff it up.
Every animal you have ever eaten is a mutant, and every piece of bacon or beef you have ever tried has human modification involved.
Breeding and farm selection are slow versions of rough genetic modification based off of observable characteristics. The main difference today is that they are able to work at a smaller more precise level to get the traits they want faster.
Your understanding about genetics and breeding is lacking in the extreme.
Look at any pet dog out there, they were once wolves until we modified them.
You're almost correct, except that these pigs would have never evolved through traditional breeding techniques. The alterations made to their genomes come from the insertion of genes from E. Coli bacteria, not natural swine genes. This is the same fear people have with GM Crops, which include genes for the production of pesticides/herbicides inserted into the genomes.
when you think about it, a pig that poops less digests its food better,which means it eats less, which means it costs less to feed,which means you get cheaper bacon(which is really just ham because its from canada)
If this was published two days earlier, I would think it's April Fool's joke? After decades of scaring me off GM food, "scientists" want to feed me GM pig and salmon only because now they are environmentally friendly?
@Silverjef - The technology to process farm animals waste into very effective fertilizer, while collecting methan in the process to supply a power plant that produces enough electricity for a small town, have been in place since the 1980s. I worked on the project back then. Interestingly enough only some of the poorer countries in Europe, Asia and Africa built these plants. We worked on a project for San Fernando area, but it never came to be, because of the smell concerns, although there were already working plants that shown that smell is not an issue.
What sorts of mad people do this stuff. Why risk the lives of humans for decades and maybe the earth itself with such tinkering.
Isn't bio engineered corn that resists roundup bad enough. Why do we let this stuff happen?
It is not that hard to compost and reuse every waste in a farm. Just too lazy or too cheap of owners. Sad sad sad. At one time, a farmer was considered an honest person.
You would have had to read the earlier articles to really understand what is going on herre . The scientists are not reducing pig waste overall just the amount of phosphates in the waste. The pigs have just as much waste the waste is just less harmfull to the environment. Phosphate runnoff is a real AG issue.
All fear of so called genetically modified food is unfounded. All the benefits are real. GM food seeks to reduce the need for fertilizer, water, and land while increasing the nutrition of the food. It's all about reducing the impact on the environment. *sigh* Environmentalists who are against GM food are either misinformed or have some other agenda.
I would have to agree with @johnnycrash,@edisonkenevil,@norar55, and some of the others. Really this is a good idea with many advantages to it. The environment wont really be suffering from this, but will probably be helped by it. The only reason people have a problem with this(besides people being uninformed)is that people are just adverse to having scientists messing with our food, even though these genetic mutations wont really effect us.
Johnny I don't think we are at the stage yet where it is a good idea to start mass producing GMO organisms. We lack understanding in two key areas, human nutrition (we are pretty good on the macro-nutrients, but we are finding more and more that such is far from complete nutrition, we need other plant compounds as well. The other aspect is ecological, care must be taken to make sure that GMO organisms will not be introducing chemicals which will interfere with important ecological processes. The best example I can think of with this was the idea that was being floated around of sticking a gene that would produce neo-nicotinoids in corn. I assume you know about the bumble bee die offs and their relation to neonicotinoids. Now the other ecological aspect to be aware of is introducing a GMO organism that could be destructively invasive. A third aspect, but not quite as important is the vulnerability of homogenous populations to disease. So it would be possible for a disease to come by, all your pigs, or corn to be vulnerable and all die. We would need to take over the selection of genes that would deal with disease, and we are not at the stage we can can achieve that either.
Until then, I think that GMO is actually a more risky food supply than non-GMO. There are also issues related to monopoly control when we start dealing with patenting genetic information, but once again, still more of a sub issue that has its roots in areas more political.
@manhunter The pesticides seem like a contender for CCD ; although, it is too soon to say for sure. If this was a GM food, the solution would be to stop using it. Problem solved. The data would be added to the list of things to test before certifying a new GM food.
For a long time now, even though our life expectancy has doubled in the last century or so, we have been told how one food or another is "bad for us". The bad food is always farmed using modern techniques and/or processed using modern techniques. Usually the claims are without any basis. Always the claims are without quantification. So to hear these same people say GM food is bad for us, just doesn't cut it.
No one seriously thinks that copying a pesticide gene that already exists in another plant that we currently eat will likely destroy the nutritional value of the target food or make it more toxic than the donor food. I have no doubt that the scientists involved accept the possibility even though it is acceptably slim, and the first thing on their list to test is toxicity to humans. What you pointed out with the bees is also very important, and I am sure it will be part of the testing for gm foods.
I want safe effective pesticides built into our food. I want drought tolerance. I more want vitamins, minerals, and protein. I want the plants to grow twice as fast and fertilize themselves. Maybe they can all have Venus fly trap attachments. Regardless. Without a doubt, GM foods are the solution. They will clean up the environment, dampen world hunger, lessen malnutrition, and decrease the amount of land that is used for food.
There will be mistakes along the way and lessons learned. The only way to get there is to do it. There is absolutely no reason not to have good testing that makes everyone happy. People who are worried about a particular set of issues need to offer up testing methodologies that would lower the risks, instead of being against the whole thing.
Patents expire. Perhaps there could be rules against any one strain of seed being used by more than X% in the first Y years.
I have yet to hear a reason against GM foods that couldn't be easily mitigated. I have yet to hear an argument that was so convincing that I would rather keep the current levels of starvation, malnutrition, and environmental damage.