Market pressure drove researchers to abandon biotech pig ‘contending’ to be first approved GM meat on consumer plates.
In a victory against biotech, Canada’s Ontario Pork has announced its decision to cut funding and stop research for the enviropig, genetically-engineered to produce less phosphorous in manure, in effort to reduce the environmental impact of raising pigs.
“[Enviro-pig] certainly does not have the public’s support,” Lucy Sharatt, Coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) said, later adding that the Canadians widely reject GM products.
“It threatens pork markets. It’s clear the public does not want genetically-modified food animals, said Paul Slomp, Youth Vice-President of the National Farmers Union, in the same press conference.
Instead, the GM specimen will be preserved via “genetic hibernation,” deep freezing the semen for ‘future’ market climates less hostile to GMO foods. In an amazing testament to the voice of the people and common sense, resounding outcry forced the project to a halt– more urgently because of the acute threat it posed to Canadian producers.
As the following press conference makes clear, it was the public who weighed in and readily rejected the GM pig, and consumer demand was the obvious token:
Ontario Pork and the University of Guelph created the genetically-engineered piggy to ‘green’ pork, but now admit there is no ‘demand’ for the product. A simple hog feed suppliment already on the market cuts the phosphorous simply and economically, rending the enviro-hog not only a dangerous Frankenstein’s monster, but a useless development that was poised to bankrupt farmers as consumers fled unlabeled GM Canadian pork and anything associated with it.
Does this blow to biotech’s blitzkreig against traditional and organic farming signal other victories to come? It may well be, but the GMO architects aren’t conceding the long game.
Dr. Cecil Forsberg, co-inventor of the enviro-pig, bemoaned to the NY Times that the public would come around and gain acceptance:
[When the first such pig was created in 1999] I had the feeling in seven or eight or nine years that transgenic animals probably would be acceptable. But I was wrong. It’s time to stop the program until the rest of the world catches up . . . and it is going to catch up.
Heather Callaghan writes:
GM Enviro-Pig Won’t Go To Market
How Did Enviro-pig Almost Pass; What Changed?
Health Canada doesn’t conduct its own GM tests. They rely on United Nations Codex guidelines and refer to the FDA, also pointing to Codex. They were also taking the word of University of Guelph data. Canadian and US regulatory guidelines allowed for the approval of the GM animals at any time.
Pork producers were afraid to associate with Enviro-pig for fear of bad public relations. Enviro-pig is safely off the shelf thanks to concerned farmers and activists like you creating more awareness. Especially the tenacious efforts of CBAN. Gratefully so — we get around 40% of our pork from Canada. CBAN will now redouble their efforts of stopping GM super-growing salmon.
As we can see, the closed research was more a result of consumer reaction and activism than anything else. At the very least, Enviro-pig served to shed light on the problems with GM mega-farm conditions and a real environmental problem that still exists.
This scores one clear and meaningful defeat of those trying to rewrite nature and control through patents over life. The larger battle against the genetic takeover of our planet by corporate interests bent on world domination continues, already underway：Genetic Armageddon: Humanity’s Greatest Threat