This ABC article starts out in a place that is very different from where it finishes up.
For any tempted, if you are put off by the graphic description of livestock dehorning, just skim past it. It is secondary to the most important content. The ability to modify livestock genes is the core point of discussion.
Some might call it “Playing GOD”?
For consumers two observations that left me wide awake ready to fight or flight.
The technology used for the gene editing introduced a bacteria to the gene sequence of the modified cattle offspring.
The company with the gene editing technology considers the resultant mutations in the cattle to be free of regulation. IE Not GMO. Although I’ll bet they insist on ownership of the product and rights.
WHY SHOULD ALL CONSUMERS KNOW
and be able to make an informed decision?
Wired magazine. Supplied
The great promise was that gene editing could make farming less cruel, but controversy followed the fame.
Many consumers were — and still are — fearful of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and what they might mean for their health and the environment.
In a public relations move designed to allay that fear, the company behind the breakthrough, Recombinetics, and its collaborators argued the gene-edited cattle were not GMO.
Rather, they said, the cattle were the product of “precision breeding” — different to GMO because the process replicated what nature could already do, but with more precision.
They took this argument to regulators around the world in a bid to circumvent the checks and regulations that GMOs were usually subject to.
Those who have read the full ABC supplied content may now know there are cattle, the subject of the program living in Australia.
It’s left to the imagination where this might lead if GMO livestock becomes unregulated, assuming it is ethically acceptable, and risk free.
Should gene editing which can in theory introduce the genes of any other organism to a species, ever be considered risk free and permitted without stringent controls and safeguards?