Thanks to CRISPR and other gene-editing techniques, scientists can breed disease-resistant animals, which means improved animal welfare, reduced antibiotic use in agriculture and cheaper bacon for you and me. This is a monumental development, right? Perhaps not. FDA regulations have effectively grounded animal gene editing in the US, at least for now.
We just released a new episode of the Biotech Facts and Fallacies podcast over at the Genetic Literacy Project exploring the FDA's proposal. Alison Van Eenennaam (pictured left), an animal geneticist from UC Davis, joins me to explain why experts say the federal agency needs to rethink its plans:
"In 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed a plan to regulate gene-edited animals as veterinary drugs...because their DNA is “intentionally altered.” The proposal has drawn harsh criticism from animal scientists, some of whom are packing up their labs and leaving the US to avoid the FDA’s rules. Food animals, these experts say, should be regulated based on the risk they pose to human health, not the breeding method that produced them."
Listen to the interview here.