By Greg Carter
Recently scientists in China developed a GM (Genetically Modified) cow that yields human breast milk. This has put the spotlight an ongoing debate over the appropriate place of GM organisms in society. Several animal species have already been genetically modified, and at least eleven have been cloned.
Some of these efforts are commercial, either for agribusiness or for sale directly to consumers as pets. Others are scientific experiments, usually defended as advancing, directly or indirectly, the cause of medicine for humans. The modification of livestock (i.e. cows engineered to produce human breast milk) and the possibility of cloned meat entering the food chain have proven to be very controversial. So is the possible use of genetically modified animals to “grow” either pharmaceutical products or organs for transplant into humans.
This Topic will address the public policy issues, as well as some of the emotional resonance of the recent Chinese announcement. It will also offer some general overview of the GM and
The cloning or genetic modification of pets serves no justifiable purpose and will not be dealt with in this Topic.