MU: Researchers genetically edit for pig's welfare; critics unconvinced

1 year 11 months 1 week ago Tuesday, October 23 2018 Oct 23, 2018 Tuesday, October 23, 2018 7:21:00 PM CDT October 23, 2018 in News
By: Monica Harkins, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Following ground-breaking MU research that successfully genetically edits pigs to be virus-resistant to a deadly disease, one Fulton farmer opposes the non-traditional farming technique.

"God created these animals to exist on this earth and to be able to prosper and do well," Jeff Jones, a fourth generation Fulton farmer, said.

Jones formerly owned pigs. Now his business focuses on a beef herd.

He said he thinks we should be able to adjust our management of pigs and animals before we turn to genetic editing.

Randall Prather is a University of Missouri professor and principal investigator for protecting pigs against the deadly Transmissible Gastroenteritis Virus (TGEV).

Prather said after his first genetic editing research project in 2015 that protects pigs from Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) virus, the team followed a similar process to discover this new genetic edit for TGEV.

"There's some diseases out that need solutions," he said.

Both PRRS and TGEV are lethal viruses without any vaccinations available.

Prather said the team was able to solve this by identifying the molecule the virus used to infect the cell.

"New research is the way that we all learn, we need to have an open mind so we can get better," Jones said.

But, Jones said it's going to take time to prove it's safe and effective before he can fully get behind genetic editing.

Prather said preventing diseases, like TGEV, adds to agricultural sustainability.

"This is not only a dollar and cents issue, this is an animal welfare issue," he said. "Nobody wants to see animals get sick."

Jones said animal welfare is important, but there are other ways to protect the animals from disease.

"The changes doesn't necessarily have to be the genetics of the animal, to me the changes first has to start with the people that's taking care of them," Jones said.

Prather argues the edits his team made to the pig's genome of about three billion letters is less than if not normal with the natural errors in a pig's genome. 

"We know exactly what genes we change, so the question is how can this be bad," Prather said.

Jones is not convinced.

"Because if it's not proven healthy, I don't want to be feeding it to my family," he said.

Prather said the 2015 PRRS virus resistant pigs are still in the process of going out to farmers, so it could be a few years for the TGEV pigs to be disseminated as well.

"We really need to be incorporating this if we're going to be serious about food security, if we're going to be serious about animal welfare, if we're going to be serious about sustainability."

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA, MO - Columbia College is launching a virtual tutoring program on Thursday, October 1. The program will serve students... More >>
36 minutes ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 10:35:00 PM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Battle football is preparing to face Moberly on Friday after their game against Smith-Cotton was canceled due to... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 7:40:00 PM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department has released a video of an armed robbery which took place at Passions Adult... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 7:27:00 PM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Show-Me Bowl games are moving to different locations this fall. In a press release sent on... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 6:50:00 PM CDT September 29, 2020 in Sports
CAMDEN COUNTY- The Camden County's Sheriff's Office is on the hunt for counterfeit bills and wants area residents and business... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 6:17:00 PM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- The Missouri Football team heads to Knoxville, Tennessee on Friday for its first road game of the season. ... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 5:58:00 PM CDT September 29, 2020 in Sports
COLUMBIA - A new law allows nursing home residents to install cameras in their rooms. House Bill 1387 lets... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 5:42:00 PM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Disney is laying off 28,000 people in the United States as the coronavirus pandemic hammers its parks and... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 5:26:00 PM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
MISSOURI - Despite less people on the roads during COVID-19 pandemic, the number of serious and fatal car crashes remained... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 4:29:00 PM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone Hospital Center Board of Trustees and BJC HealthCare have agreed on a date for Boone Hospital... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 4:29:00 PM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri was recently given nearly $1.2 million to help MU researchers create an artificially intelligent... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 4:13:00 PM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
O'FALLON, Mo. (AP) — The number of people hospitalized for the coronavirus has nearly tripled in areas outside of Missouri’s... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 3:46:00 PM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
MISSOURI - Watch parties for the Presidential debate will be held virtually this year in light of the ongoing pandemic... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 2:58:00 PM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
TIPTON- The Tipton School District released a letter Monday stating a student and a teacher within the district were diagnosed... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 2:53:00 PM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — An audit has found that St. Louis police spent nearly $14 million on overtime while struggling... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 2:35:39 PM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was laid to rest Tuesday morning in a private ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 1:16:00 PM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- KOMU 8's Jordan Berger sat down virtually with Jane Lynch, new host of the reboot of the Weakest Link.... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 12:44:00 PM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) -- Kansas City patrol officers will begin wearing body cameras early next year. The police department says... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 12:06:00 PM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 54°
12am 55°
1am 56°
2am 56°
3am 55°