Farmscape for June 26, 2019
The National Pork Producers Council has launched a new campaign to highlight the importance of establishing a proper regulatory framework for gene editing in American livestock that would not leave U.S. livestock producers at a competitive disadvantage.
The "Keep American First in Agriculture" campaign draws attention to a proposed Food and Drug Administration regulation which would classify gene edited livestock as drugs and calls for gene edited livestock to be regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Dr. Dan Kovich, the National Pork Producers Council's Deputy Director of Science & Technology, says gene editing is a huge step forward and offers a powerful new way to combat animal disease.
Clip-Dr. Dan Kovich-National Pork Producers Council:
It allows for precise small changes to specific genes in the pig's genome that can have huge impacts, particularly on disease resistance.
As a veterinarian that's what excites me the most about this technology.
It really offers a powerful new tool to combat, particularly diseases of livestock that are caused by viruses.
I think, when we look at the pig, there's some really timely examples of how gene editing can potentially help our industry.
One, of course, is what's commonly referred to as PRRS or the PRRS virus, the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome virus.
Again it's a viral disease.
We've just struggled with good tools to really control this.
With gene editing, by making a small change, by knocking out one specific gene on the pig's genome, it's been show that these pigs are resistant to all known strains of PRRS.
Dr. Kovich notes African Swine Fever and Foot and Mouth disease also threaten global pork production and gene editing has potential to deal with those viruses in the same manner.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
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