Slick Coat, Slick Science

Mar 11, 2022

Gene-edited beef. It’s what’s for dinner.

Regulators this week approved the sale of beef from gene-edited cattle when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said, “Go ahead, grill it up!” … Basically. beef: Recombinetics, the company behind the gene-edited moos, comes to us after the approval for human consumption of other gene-altered animals like salmon and pigs.

The gene-altered cattle were created using the CRISPR technology. The FDA determined the product is low-risk and doesn’t raise any safety concerns. Science!

Hot trait: Since cattle that aren’t stressed by heat gain weight more easily, these cattle have shorter, slicker coats to help them withstand hot weather better.

The FDA says some cattle possess this trait naturally, so there’s no reason these animals or their babies would need to be labeled differently. The trait can be passed down, so semen and embryos from these altered cattle could be used to produce the shorter-haired offspring.

To the shelves/menus: The FDA says the beef could hit grocery store shelves and restaurant menus in as soon as two years.