A Future for Animal Biotechnology

Source Organization: Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology

12/05/2005 - The development of transgenic and cloned animals offers new opportunities for animal agriculture. Scientists are developing transgenic animals – which incorporate genes from other organisms – with a variety of goals. These include treating human disease, easing the shortage of organs for transplant patients, improving the quality and safety of our food supply, and lessening the environmental impacts of animal agriculture.

While the potential benefits of transgenic and cloned animals could be great, there are also environmental, animal health, and food safety questions. Cloning animals or altering their genetic make-up using recombinant DNA also raise moral and ethical concerns for many people. Finally, the federal government has yet to clearly delineate how the safety of these products will be evaluated, what will be required to bring them to the marketplace and how their introduction will be regulated.

Given the potential impact that the products of animal biotechnology could have and the substantial investment already committed to their development, the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology and the Agriculture Genome Science and Public Policy Graduate Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign convened a one-day forum to explore these and other issues. This December 2005 workshop, titled “A Future for Animal Biotechnology?” brought together representatives of the many stakeholder groups interested in this debate to explore the potential benefits and concerns, the challenges of consumer perceptions and acceptance, and issues of regulatory policies.

View report -- A Future for Animal Biotechnology.

Workshop Agenda

Welcome and Introduction

  • Dr. Larry Schook, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 
  • Dr. Michael Fernandez, Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology
Animal Biotechnology: Potential Uses, Potential Hurdles

Overview of Animal Biotechnology and Potential Applications

Dr. Noelle Muggli-Cockett, Utah State University

Environmental and Food Safety Considerations

Dr. Kim Waddell, American Vineyard Foundation

Beyond the Science: Moral and Ethical Concerns

Dr. Autumn Fiester, University of Pennsylvania

Regulation: Where is the pathway to market?

Fred Degnan, J.D., King & Spaulding

And Meanwhile Overseas...

Dr. Jim Murray, University of California at Davis

Consumer Acceptance: What Policies Are Necessary For Public Confidence in the Products of Animal Biotechnology?

Policy Dialogue

  • Barbara Glenn, Biotechnology Industry Organization
  • Carol Tucker Foreman, Consumer Federation of America
Safety, Philanthropy, and the Public Good: Resources to Assess the Safety of Philanthropic Applications of Animal Biotechnology

Public Goods and Biotechnology

Dr. Keith Betteridge, University of Guelph

Group Discussions

Related Areas of Work

(All Fields are required)