Farmscape for July 3, 2019
The President of The Maschhoffs suggests, while the use of gene editing offers the potential to take control of African Swine Fever, the technology may not be readily available to U.S. pork producers.
The National Pork Producers Council is calling on the U.S. government to establish a regulatory framework for gene editing consistent with that of other countries that will not leave U.S. livestock producers at a competitive disadvantage.
Dr. Bradley Wolter, the President of The Maschhoffs, notes one of the big concerns right now is the global spread of African Swine Fever.
Clip-Dr. Bradley Wolter-The Maschhoffs:
It's spreading rapidly across the eastern hemisphere and, while we've been fortunate to not have it here in the western hemisphere, those folks experiencing loss have begun significant investment, specifically within the European Union and China, to explore ways in which gene editing could create a pig that's resistant to this virus.
If they're successful in editing the genome of these animals they may be protected and spared from the impact of the virus and consequently they may be able to eradicate the impact from their pig populations.
If this situation were to occur, in other words if they're successful in doing this, they could protect their domestic production.
At the same time point in time, we in the U.S. are concerned daily with the potential for our pig populations to absolutely be decimated upon the entry of African Swine Fever here in the continental North America.
It's a real large business risk for us today and it's hampering investment today as we know it.
Dr. Wolter says the concern producers have is that, even if gene editing was approved as a legitimate technology in another country, the current FDA regulation would preclude its use in the U.S. risking the competitive position of American pork producers.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Wonderworks Canada Inc