TRANSGENIC GOATS WILL COME BACK TO HAUNT THE GREEDY AND UNFORTUNATELY THE INNOCENT TOO

Before you jump on the bandwagon, read Ban GMOs Now . I tell you that the same errors that have been made in crops are being made with animals. They are rushing forth to satisfy corporate and individual greed. It won't work. It never does. It has always failed in the end, and it will this time too.

Old McDonald had a pharm
And genetically modified his goats and chickens to produce drugs for humans. But hold on. Should we be doing this to animals?
By Elizabeth Svoboda
Jun. 11, 2008 | Encompassed by pastoral green fields, the headquarters of GTC Biotherapeutics looks like any other New England farmstead. But its serenity is deceiving. Behind barn doors, the farm's most valuable employees — a herd of pygmy goats from New Zealand — are working round the clock, their milk glands churning out hundreds of gallons of high-grade pharmaceutical compounds.
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"All we're doing is placing extra DNA coding in this natural pathway."
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Still, the transgene does not always land in the targeted section of the genome, and some offspring end up with severe birth defects for reasons that are still not well understood.
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Debates over animals' welfare and self-determination aside, there's the question of whether transgenic animals will produce drugs that create unexpected side effects in humans. "We have to be careful about the activation of retroviral or pathogenic agents," says Doug Gurian-Sherman, a senior scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists' food and environment program, adding that human drug products derived from animals could potentially pass on such pathogens to recipients.
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Despite the deeply ingrained public perception that, darn it, there's something just not right about this kettle of fish, companies like GTC may succeed if they can make a lights-out case for the medical necessity of their products. After all, even conservative grande dame Nancy Reagan became a stem-cell research crusader once she realized the treatment was the best hope to reverse her late husband's Alzheimer's.
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"You can make hundreds of different proteins this way, and the system is linearly scalable: If you need more, you breed more," he says. "This is like 'Back to the Future.' It's Buck Rogers combined with farming, the oldest trade known to man."

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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