FDA’s approval process might treat the genetically engineered creatures as drugs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has put out new proposed regulations for genetically engineered animals, that producers of such animals have to follow.

These regulations are going to help them determine whether or not these animals would extend any health risks to humans, the environment, or the actual animals.

The guidelines could mean that we may soon be consuming food from genetically engineered animals. These animals may include fish, pigs, cattle, goats, etc.

The new regulations do not cover cloned animals, most pets or research animals. The FDA has already determined that clones — genetic replicas — are safe. Pets and research animals are unlikely to enter the food chain.

The FDA stated that food produced from genetically engineered animals may not even have to be labeled.

But the new guidelines drew criticism from groups worried about possible environmental, ecological and physiological hazards of bioengineered animals.

According to Jaydee Hanson, a policy analyst at the Center for Food Safety in Washington, animals can’t be treated exactly like drugs, drugs never go out and breed with each other and when a drug gets loose, we can control it. But when a bull gets loose, it would be harder to control.

Experts are really worried about the effects of unanticipated mixing of genetically engineered animals with others — for example, the escape of fast-growing salmon into the open ocean, where they could breed with wild species.

However experts assumed, that the proposed regulations may not go far enough to protect the public. In particular, they argue that the approval process would be highly secretive to guard the commercial interests of the companies involved, and that the new rules do not place sufficient weight on the potential environmental effect of what many consider to be Frankenstein animals.



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