Scientists create eco-friendly pigs
By Tom Johnston on 11/28/2008
Scientists at Guelph University in Ontario are re-writing the famous Dr. Seuss story "Green Eggs and Ham." That is, they have genetically engineered a group of 21 hogs to be green — as in environmentally friendly, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The "enviropigs" produce an enzyme in their saliva that enables them to digest phosphorus in their feed, which reduces the amount of phosphorous in manure and therefore the potential that phosphorus enters waterways.
The Guelph scientists say the genetically engineered pigs should produce pork that tastes the same as pork from naturally raised pigs. They "look like regular pigs, they act like other pigs, and they regrettably smell like other pigs," Guelph scientist Cecil Forsberg was quoted as saying.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering the university's application to be able to market the pork, although there is doubt as to whether a market for the new product exists.
I have no doubt that science can create solutions for many of the production issues that livestock producers face. In this case the genetically engineered pigs can now digest phosphorous, which would be beneficial in handling the nutrients produced by the pigs. However, what we need to remember is that the anti-animal agriculture groups main agenda is to eliminate our industry, not just improve it. Sound science has been thrown out the window. Our fights are now fought in the court of public opinion.