Big Ag's factory farming solution to its own pollution: GMO 'Enviropigs'

Saturday, July 06, 2013 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: Big Ag, Enviropigs, GM feed

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(NaturalNews) Industrial agriculture is becoming widely recognized as one of the leading causes of environmental pollution in the world today. But rather than move towards more sustainable methods of food production, and particularly meat production, the factory farm industry has further added to the downfall of humanity by pushing for things like the commercial approval of a genetically-modified (GM) "Enviropig" that it once claimed could help clean up the environment.

Originally developed back in 1999, the transgenic Enviropig possesses GM salivary glands that are capable of digesting a certain type of phosphorus found in conventional pig feed. Natural pigs are unable to process this form of phosphorus, known as phytic acid, and found plentifully in the grains fed to conventional swine, so farmers have to supplement their pigs' diets with an enzyme known as phytase in order to avoid producing a glut of phosphorus waste.

Regardless, factory pig farms still generate tremendous amounts of phosphorus waste, which ends up running off and polluting nearby crop fields, rivers, streams, and ultimately the nation's drinking water supplies. Rational-thinking individuals have proposed ending the factory farm model altogether and switching to more traditional methods of rearing animals in order to stop this widespread destruction, but Big Ag has come up with other, more insidious plans.

According to reports from 2010, Enviropigs were set to be commercially approved after undergoing nearly 15 years of research at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Though the institution eventually pulled its funding for Enviropigs back in 2012 after considerable outcry, the "Frankenpigs" in question were proposed to eventually be used as food for humans.

"The Enviropig is now on its way to landing on Canadian plates, with Environment Canada recently determining that the Enviropigs are in compliance with the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, and therefore can be produced outside of the research context in controlled facilities," explains a piece put out by Urban Garden Magazine back in 2010.

"Submissions have been made to Health Canada and other federal agencies - including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2007 - to have the pigs approved for human consumption and commercialization. At this time, no country has approved products derived from genetically engineered animals for human or animal consumption."

Commercial pig waste exceptionally toxic due to pigs being force-fed GM corn, soy

The plans were eventually scrapped, as the industry suddenly "lost interest" in promoting Enviropigs, but the issue of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and their toxicity to the environment are still highly problematic.

If you have ever seen a CAFO in action, then you already know how unnatural they are for animals. The unfortunate creatures that live there typically have no place to roam free, and are forced to live in high-density filth, which is a recipe for environmental disaster. And to top it off, animals like pigs are force-fed unnatural GM feed that makes them sick and destroys what would otherwise be a beneficial byproduct of their existence, manure.

"Intensive hog 'farms,' cattle feedlots, and intensive egg production and poultry facilities are creating toxic wastelands, treating the animal inmates as nothing more than animated foodstuffs," explains a recent piece by Urban Garden Magazine. "In contrast, small-scale agriculture sees manure as a necessary part of building healthy soil and producing nutritious, healthy food."

In other words, if commercial pigs were not being fed toxins grains and confined to filthy pens, there would not even be an issue with their manure and its phosphorus content. It is only due to the fact that these industrial agriculture methods are still being used that pig waste is even a problem at all. And the industry responsible for causing this systemic problem is constantly proposing ridiculous "solutions" like Enviropigs, which only stand to make things even worse.

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