The National Pork Producers Federation is urging the Department of Agriculture to assume regulatory oversight of gene editing for livestock due to the slow pace of developing a regulatory framework at the Food and Drug Administration.
“USDA is best equipped to oversee gene editing for livestock production,” according to NPPC President Jim Heimerl.
NPPC says gene editing accelerates genetic improvements that could be realized over long periods of time through breeding, allowing for simple changes in a pig’s native genetic structure without introducing genes from another species. Emerging applications for the pork industry include raising pigs resistant to Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome, a highly contagious swine disease that causes significant animal suffering and costs pork producers worldwide billions of dollars.
The FDA currently holds regulatory authority over gene editing in food-producing animals.