GalSafe pigs – UPSC Prelims

GalSafe Pigs:
  • These are domestic pigs whose genome has been edited and will be used for food and human therapeutics purpose.
  • US Food and Drug Administration(FDA) has approved a first-of-its-kind intentional genomic alteration(IGA) in a line of domestic pigs referred to as GalSafe pigs.
What is intentional genomic alteration in animals? It 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”.
  • Purpose: 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.
  • Difference: The FDA maintains that the only difference between an animal with an IGA and one that does not have an IGA is that the IGA gives them a new trait or characteristic such as faster growth or resistance to certain diseases.
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