Think, Eat, Act – Apr 12, 2019
Update In April 2012 the Enviropig program at the University of Guelph was shut down after Ontario Pork withdrew its funding. No other funder could be found so the remaining pigs were euthanized. Samples of Enviropig DNA has been frozen and stored by the Animal Genetic Resources Program in Saskatoon.
Intensive hog farming raises pigs in giant complexes that bear little resemblance to what most of us would call a farm. Now, science is ready to provide the hog industry with a pig that has been genetically engineered to include mouse and bacteria genes, as a technological response to deal with the pollution problems created by turning the raising of livestock into an industrial process. Enviropig™ may well be the first GMO food animal approved for human consumption in Canada – without regulatory guidelines – in spite of the existence of other simpler, cheaper, more effective and less invasive ways to deal with pollution from hog manure.
One of most serious impacts of the rapid shift to intensive hog production in Canada is water pollution. By confining and feeding thousands of animals in huge barns, their manure has become a pollutant.
There is no genetically modified pork approved for sale in Canada, so far, but most of the pork sold in large grocery stores is produced on factory farms that have significant environmental impacts.
If you do not want to have genetically engineered farm animals in Canada’s food and agriculture system, it will be necessary to take your concerns into the public sphere and become active.