Over the last year or so, at least 20 states have introduced bills that would require labeling of genetically modified food. The common point of contention is the pervasiveness of grains that have had their DNA altered. But some of these proposed laws – including one in Missouri – take aim specifically at genetically engineered meat or fish. And that got Harvest Public Media’s Abbie Fentress Swanson wondering: How close are we to actually eating genetically engineered animals? What she found out might surprise you.
The Food and Drug Administration is considering whether to approve AquAdvantage Atlantic salmon for the U.S. market.
These fillets are from genetically engineered salmon.
Credit Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media
These pig cells are part of the research being done by University of Missouri genetic engineer Kevin Wells. Wells, a national expert on the genetic engineering of animals, prefers not to have his photo taken because his work is so controversial.
Kevin Wells has been genetically engineering animals for 24 years.
“It’s sort of like a jigsaw puzzle,” said Wells recently as he walked through his lab at the University of Missouri - Columbia. “You take DNA apart and put it back together in different orders, different orientations.”