The Next Pig Thing

| November 7, 2001

The Next Pig Thing, Leora Broydo Vestel,
Pigs produce thousands of tons of manure each year, making phosphorous-based farm waste one of the greatest threats to our nation's drinking water supply. Researchers from the University of Guelph in Ontario say they can remedy that problem with their genetically engineered 'Enviropig' that produces up to 75 percent less phosphorous. Environmental groups, wary of introducing a genetically engineered organism into the environment, argue that the pork industry is only interested in the pig to work around proposed environmental rules regulating phosphorous output on farms. A genetically engineered 'Enviropig' is a waste of resources, says Michael Khoo of the Union of Concerned Scientists, because more simple, sustainable agriculture programs already exist -- like a breed of corn that reduces phosphorous in manure by up to 50 percent.
--Kate Garsombke
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