WSU first university to produce gene-edited meat approved for human consumption

Researchers at Washington State University have made history.
Published: May. 2, 2023 at 6:45 AM PDT
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PULLMAN, Wash. (KPTV) - Researchers at Washington State University have made history after receiving FDA authorization to have their gene-edited pigs enter the food chain for human consumption.

Researchers at WSU used gene-editing to improve genetic traits in five pigs. The 2-year-old animals were then processed at the WSU Meat Lab.

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After getting inspected by the US Department of Agriculture, a meat scientist made some of the pork into German-style sausages. Researchers then fired up the grill, and they say there’s no difference in taste, texture, or nutrients.

Researchers argue introducing more gene-edited livestock into the food chain will help produce more resilient forms of protein in the face of climate change and the growing human population.

Researchers spent two years and about $200,000 on the effort.

The FDA authorization is “investigational” and limited to those five pigs. Some of the meat from those pigs will be used to raise money for travel for the Washington State University’s Meat Judging team.

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Only one other organization, a company named Acceligen, has had a gene-edited animal receive FDA approval to enter the food supply. That happened in 2020 with cattle.