The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that short-haired cattle produced through CRISPR gene-editing technology are safe for human consumption. The cattle, known as PRLR-SLICK, were the first to receive an FDA “low-risk determination for enforcement discretion” after the agency determined the intentional genomic alteration (IGA) of the two genome-edited cattle does not raise any safety concerns.
Produced by Acciligen with climate change in mind, the cows have a genetic trait that gives them a short, sleek coat which is said to help the animals cope with hot weather more effectively. The FDA’s low-risk determination means the agency does not expect Acciligen, a “precision breeding” company, to seek regulatory approval before marketing products from the cattle.
The FDA spent years reviewing the two other genetically altered animals approved for human consumption—a faster-growing salmon and a pig the agency determined was safe for consumption by people with meat allergies. However, the review process for the CRISPR beef cattle took less than a year because the FDA noted the gene-editing results in the same slick-hair trait seen in cattle that are found in conventional agriculture. Talking about the Mar. 7, 2022 approval, Steven Solomon, director of the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine, said:
“We expect that our decision will encourage other developers to bring animal biotechnology products forward for the FDA’s risk determination in this rapidly developing field, paving the way for animals containing low-risk IGAs (intentional genomic alterations) to more efficiently reach the marketplace.”
Looking closer at Acceligen, the company website says that most of its workers have backgrounds in the farm industry. The company explains that “precision breeding” is different from conventional breeding or genetically modified organisms (GMO) in that it allows a “highly desired trait” that may typically take years to show up to be expressed in “just one breeding cycle.”
The Biden administration knew about the baby formula shortage as early as February, the director of the National Economic Council, Brian Deese, told CNN’s “New Day” on Friday morning.
Deese said the administration is working around the clock to tackle the issue from every angle possible, noting the administration is trying to give retailers “more flexibility on the types of formulas that they can sell.” Deese did not provide an estimate of how long the administration anticipates the shortage will last, but urged families to call their healthcare provider if they need help.
Host Kaitlan Collins then asked Deese what his response to Republican criticism that the administration didn’t act fast enough is.
“The administration has been on this from the get-go. A lot of this emanated from a plant in Michigan that was producing formula that didn’t meet safety standards,” Deese said.
Collins then asked when the administration first became aware of the shortage.
“As a parent, and with friends and colleagues, we were aware that people were starting to have trouble in stores, but we were aware of this from when the FDA had to take its action back in February, with Abbott and with the steps in the Michigan facility. And we have had a team on this from the FDA and in the interagency process since then,” Deese said.
Collins noted how several complaints were made to the FDA in the preceding months.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi belatedly jumped into America’s baby formula crisis on Friday, calling nationwide shortages “unconscionable” and setting an emergency vote next week. But while she tried to get Democrats caught up on a crisis that caught them by surprise, her administrative office was busy ramping up new perks for lawmakers.
House members were alerted to two new perks this week compliments of the chamber’s Democrat leadership: fully paid memberships to Peloton gyms as well as a brand new liquor and drinks outlet.
Republicans immediately seized on the optics, saying doling out additional benefits to lawmakers when everyday Americans are struggling to fill gas tanks, grocery carts or baby bottles was a bridge too far, even for Washington.
“Washington Dems couldn’t be more out of touch,” Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.) wrote as he tweeted out a new announcement by the House Chief Administrative Officer announcing a new “House Drinks storefront” in the Rayburn House Office Building where lawmakers and staff can buy beverages, wine and liquor.
“Whether you’re hosting a meeting or an office event or just want to stock up on your favorite drinks, House Drinks sells water, soda, juice, alcohol and spirits,” the announcement boasted. “Six, twelve and 24-packs are available depending on the drink.”
Amid a nationwide shortage of baby formula, a Republican lawmaker is claiming that illegal immigrants detained by the border patrol are being given priority over Americans.
Republican Rep. Kat Cammack (FL) posted videos on social media as she claimed the Biden administration is shipping “pallets” of baby formula to border facilities.
“They are sending pallets, pallets of baby formula to the border,” Cammack said in online postings on Wednesday. “Meanwhile, in our own district at home, we cannot find baby formula,” she added, displaying a photo that showed empty store shelves.
Cammack said a border agent has been sending her photos of the deliveries of baby formula. “They’re receiving pallets and more pallets of baby formula at the border,” she said. “This was taken at Ursula processing facility [in McAllen, Texas] where thousands are being housed and processed and then released,” she said.