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For Edited Beef

Regulators in the US have determined that beef from gene-edited cattle does not raise any safety concerns, the Associated Press reports. It adds that this now paves the way for gene-edited beef to be sold within a few years.

According to the AP, the cattle the agency reviewed were developed by Recombinetics, which used CRISPR-based gene editing to introduce a gene variant that gives the cattle shorter coats and better enables them to endure the heat. The US Food and Drug Administration concluded that because this trait can be found in other cattle, these edited cattle do not have go through a lengthy approval process, the AP says. It adds that because of this, FDA says the edited beef could be on the market in about two years.

Greg Jaffe from the Center for Science in the Public Interest tells the AP that how the agency made its announcement indicates that not all gene-edited animals will be exempt from that longer approval process. "They reinforce the idea that this is a case-by-case review," Jaffe says there.

This cattle is the third genetically altered animal to be given FDA's OK, following salmon and pigs, the AP notes.