GalSafe Pigs approved by FDA
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Health & GS-III – Biotechnology
- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a first-of-its-kind intentional genomic alteration (IGA) in a line of domestic pigs referred to as GalSafe pigs.
- Genetically modified (GM) pigs have been approved for food and medical use in the USA.
- The pigs are only the second GM animal to be approved for food after GM salmon in 2015.
- The GM pigs have been engineered to eliminate alpha-gal, a sugar found in pigs that can cause allergic reactions.
- It was the first time a GM animal is approved for human food and medical use.
Important value additions
Intentional genomic alteration
- Intentional genomic alteration in animals means making specific changes to the genome of the organism using modern molecular technologies that are popularly referred to as “genome editing” or “genetic engineering”.
- However, there are other technologies that can be used to make IGAs in animals.
- Such changes in the DNA sequence of an animal may be carried out for research purposes, to produce healthier meat for human consumption and to study disease resistance in animals among other reasons.