You Can Now Buy Beef From Gene-Hacked ‘Super Cows’

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by Matthias Bein/picture alliance via Getty Images)

If you’re a fan of genetically altered food like strawberries and apples, then you’re going to love this news. Deemed “super cows,” the Food and Drug Administration has labeled two gene-edited breeds of bovine safe for human consumption, which means we’ll soon have access to genetically modified beef.

According to the New York Post, the genes of the two breeds in question became hacked. The genetic alterations allow them to grow short, slick coats. Reportedly, the breeds’ genetic modification appears harmless on both the part of the cow and the consumer. Further, experts suggest the GMO super cows and the resulting beef present “low risk.”

To have coined the term “super cow” is an achievement in itself. However, the outlet further reports this is the first time in history the FDA has awarded “low-risk” premarket approval for a gene-edited animal food product.

For Steve Solomon, the director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, achieving low-risk status for GMO beef demonstrates “commitment to using a risk and science-based, data-driven process that focuses on safety to the animals containing intentional genomic alterations and safety to the people who eat the food produced by these animals.”

Further, the short, sleek coats covering the new breed of bovine benefit both cattle and handlers.

Acceligen is the company responsible for turning out GMO super cows. Of the cows, they said, “The SLICK trait, which occurs naturally in certain cattle, will be used to transform beef production be more sustainable and improve animal welfare in warmer climates.”

As such, the cows will be better equipped to endure increasingly hotter temperatures. Meanwhile, those tending to them will have an easier time maintaining their wellbeing.

Beef Becoming Increasingly Unaffordable Amid Rising Inflation

As per the outlet, it remains unclear when Americans will gain access to the super cows’ genetically modified beef. Nevertheless, if beef prices are high now, the cost of GMO cow products likely won’t be cheap either.

Inflation has risen 7.9%. As we know, it has reached record hights, achieving the highest surge since 1982. As such, the cost for, literally, everything through the roof. And while groceries as a whole have become increasingly expensive within the last year, the cost of beef has skyrocketed. Recent statistics show beef prices have risen more than 16% since last year. As a result, many Americans are cutting cow from their grocery lists.

The New York Post reports the cost for a pound of sirloin steak has risen to $11.65. Meanwhile, even relatively affordable products, namely ground beef, have surged to $4.63 per pound as a result of record inflation rates.

Instead, many Americans have turned to chicken, though even the price per pound for chicken breasts has risen to $3.82 as of February.