Genetically Modified Pigs Might Save Your Life

Genetically Modified Pigs Might Save Your Life


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the second-ever genetically modified subtype of pig for human consumption.

But there are no plans to raise this pig for meat or other foodstuffs. By adjusting the pig’s genes so it doesn’t produce a particular sugar, scientists can make medicines that are safe for a group of people who suffer from a peculiar, little-understood allergy. And while this certification isn’t planned for meat, that could be next. Let’s dig into the wild world of the tick-induced “meat allergy” to the alpha-gal sugar. The alpha-gal-free pig has one express purpose for now: to develop medical products, like blood thinners, that won’t set off adverse reactions. That’s according to the company behind the pig, United Therapeutics Corp, which has a long history with pigs for therapeutic products, such as genetically modified pig lungs for human use, for example.

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