FDA Approves Food Products from Gene-Edited Animals

The Food and Drug Administration announced that it made a low-risk determination for the marketing of products, including food, from two genome-edited beef cattle and their offspring. The IGA results in the equivalent genotype, or genetic make-up, and the short-hair coat trait seen in some conventionally-bred cattle, known as a “slick coat.” The agency says the decision underscores its commitment to using a risk and science-based, data-driven process that focuses on the safety of the animals containing the IGA and the safety of the people who eat food produced by these animals. To date, the FDA has made low-risk determinations for many other IGAs in animals for non-food uses and also has approved applications for five IGAs in groups of goat, chicken, salmon, rabbit, and, most recently, in a line of pigs. A gene alteration can be passed on to offspring through conventional breeding. Products could be on the market within two years.

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