Pigs that might have become the world’s first genetically modified animals approved for human consumption may instead face an untimely end, as key backers of Canada’s “Enviropig” project withdrew their support for the controversial engineered animal.
Scientists at the University of Guelph, 90 km west of Toronto, bred the first GMO pig that was developed to address an environmental problem in 1999. The animal – known as Enviropig – digests its feed more efficiently than naturally bred pigs, resulting in waste that may cause less environmental damage to lakes and rivers.
The project has produced eight generations of Enviropigs, including the current herd of 16 animals. But they may be the last of their kind, after Ontario Pork – an association of hog farmers in the eastern Canadian province – yanked their funding last month.
Read More: Death knell may sound for Canada’s GMO pigs