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Modified Pig Approved

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a genetically modified pig that could potentially be used for organ transplants and produces meat that can be eaten, CNN reports.

"Today's first ever approval of an animal biotechnology product for both food and as a potential source for biomedical use represents a tremendous milestone for scientific innovation," FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn says in a statement.

The pig, developed by Revivicor, has been modified to lack the alpha-gal sugar, which can trigger allergic reactions, CNN adds. According to the Verge, alpha-gal syndrome in which someone develops a meat allergy can arise following a lone star or deer tick bite. By lacking the alpha-gal sugar, the pigs, dubbed GalSafe, could be used to make safer medical products like heparin or in organ transplants, as well as potentially be safer for eating, it adds. 

According to CNN, the company Xenotherapeutics is conducting a Phase I safety trial of using skin grafts from GalSafe pigs to treat burn victims with alpha-gal allergies.

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