Transgenesis in Animal Agriculture and Zoonotic Disease Resistance

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In 2009, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released guidelines for the commercialization of genetically engineered (GE) farm animals. Numerous applications for approval of transgenic species are currently pending. Anthropocentric concerns raised to date have tended to neglect the impact of the physiological trade-off between production efficiency and immune function. Given animal agriculture's track record of prioritizing productivity - even at the expense of animal health - the incorporation of biotechnological tools to further stress production towards biological limits may continue to undermine immunocompetence. Regulatory schemata to avert adverse public health outcomes are discussed. Given the rising incidence of zoonotic disease associated with livestock industry intensification noted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, increased scrutiny should be given to any technology that may further erode farm animal disease resistance.


This material has been published in CAB Reviews, Volume 6, Number 41, the only accredited archive of the content that has been certified and accepted after peer review. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by CABl. www.cabi.org/CABReviews