Gene Edited Livestock Technology Offers Host of Potential Benefits


Farmscape for January 22, 2021

Full Interview 9:50 Listen

The National Pork Producers Council is confident a proposed jurisdictional change in the regulation of gene edited livestock technology will allow the full realization of the promise the technology offers. The National Pork Producers Council has expressed its support for a proposal that would see the U.S. Department of Agriculture assume primary regulatory jurisdiction over the development of gene-edited livestock. Andrew Bailey, the Science and Technology Legal Counsel with the National Pork Producers Council, says the United States has lagged behind other parts of the world in developing this technology and the proposed regulatory change will start the process of catching up.

Clip-Andrew Bailey-National Pork Producers Council:
This is a very exciting technology. It’s very new. There’s a lot of interest in the academic community, there’s producer interest and there’s a host of potential benefit areas in livestock. The top of mind one that that folks talk about is disease resistance.
Maybe knocking out a single base pair in a pig makes it resistant to a disease. You can also look at animal welfare factors that gene editing can address. It can, through improved health, reduce the need for antibiotic use, it can improve sustainability.
There’s a whole lot of different areas where gene editing holds the promise to be extremely beneficial. It’s really just the imagination of the academic and research community that is the limit. USDA’s process, although we’re just at the beginning of it, really holds the promise for us to end up where we have a very robust, transparent regulatory structure in place for this that everyone can look at and rely on and have some trust in.

Bailey says that’s a great position to be in and a great way to capture the promise this technology offers.

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