Crop Biotech Update

Animal Scientist Highlights Role of Genetic Modification in Livestock Health, Growth and Well-being

April 4, 2018

Genetic modification is being preferred by several researchers over traditional methods such as selective breeding to improve the genetics of food-producing cattle. These researchers include Jon Oatley, director of the Center for Reproductive Biology at Washington State University.

"What we can do now is we can use sophisticated tools, molecular tools, to really refine and enhance the genetics of an animal for them to have the traits that we want," Oatley said. "We can make leaps in improving the health, growth and well-being of animals, compared to the baby steps that we've been taking for thousands of years."

Oatley emphasized the major benefit of using genetic medication, which is saving much-needed time to get desirable results. "We are going to have 10 billion people on Earth before the year 2050. In the next 30, 40 years, we will double the number of people we have on Earth. And we don't have the resources to double the amount of food that we produce right now…We have to find a way to do things differently, more efficiently, so we can provide food to the increasing world population at today's nutritional standards. I'm hoping that our research is one of the ways we can do that," Oatley said.

Read more from Genetic Literacy Project.