The March of Genetic Food Progress

By Published on December 30, 2015

Despite what you may hear from the culinary elite, genetic engineering is winning the day and gradually overcoming their “Frankenfood” fear-mongering. A flurry of good news this year ought to convince the public, more than ever, of the safety and the tremendous promise of this technology.

On Dec. 8 the Food and Drug Administration approved a new chicken that has been genetically modified to treat a rare and potentially fatal disorder called lysosomal acid lipase deficiency. The chicken, which won’t be available as meat, produces eggs with an enzyme that replaces a faulty human enzyme, addressing the underlying cause of the disease. Add it to the small but growing class of “farmaceuticals,” including drugs made by transgenic goats and rabbits.

In November the FDA approved, for the first time, a genetically engineered animal intended for human consumption. After a 20-year review, the agency gave the green light to the AquAdvantage salmon. The fish is an Atlantic salmon with a gene added from a Chinook salmon that allows it to grow faster with less feed. It makes aquaculture more appealing and could ease pressure on overfished salmon stocks in the wild.


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