The Food and Drug Administration is currently reviewing ATryn, a new pharmaceutical drug that comes from the milk of genetically modified goats. Scientists in New England have developed transgenic goats that posses a human gene. This gene makes the goats produce human proteins in their milk, and this protein forms the basis of the ATryn drug.
By putting human genes into goats, bioengineers are turning helpless animals into mere drug factories. Indeed, fewer than 10 out of every 100 animals injected with the human gene while still in their mother's womb will be able to produce the altered milk. The other baby goats bred for drug production are killed immediately. What's more, some "successful" transgenic baby goats develop severe birth defects that scientists don't understand.
Help stop this cruel farming process before it becomes widespread! Urge the FDA commissioner to deny ATryn and any other drug that comes from genetically altered animals.
Dear Commissioner von Eschenbach,
I understand the FDA is currently reviewing ATryn, an antithrombin that developer GTC Biotherapeutics claims helps prevent blood clots. But ATryn's manufacturing process raises serious ethical questions because of its cruelty to animals.
In order to make ATryn, GTC injects a human gene into the DNA of goat embryos. This process of using transgenic animals for drug production is cruel. Out of every 100 animals injected with the human gene, only one to ten will successfully be a transgenic offspring. The other 90 to 99 percent of animals bred for drug production are killed immediately. And some "successful" transgenic animals develop severe birth defects that scientists don't understand.
Not only is this process cruel to the animals who have been injected with the human gene, its safety impacts to humans are not well understood. A 2002 National Academy of Sciences report recommended keeping transgenic animal products out of the food supply, partially because of concerns about allergic reactions.
[Your comment here]
Please refuse to approve ATryn or any other drug produced in a transgenic animal. Transgenic animal drug production raises grave safety and ethical concerns.
Keep up the great work. Look what you've accomplished!
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