"Animal agriculture is being transformed by rapid advances in biotechnology - a term often used as a synonym for a variety of technologies that includes genetic engineering, genetic modification, transgenics, recombinant DNA techniques, and cloning, among others. Producers are interested in the application of biotechnology to improve productivity, consistency, and quality; to introduce new food, fiber, and medical products; and to protect the environment. Potential human health applications of transgenic animals include producing biopharmaceuticals and generating organs, tissues, and cells for xenotransplantation. Criticisms of such applications range from food safety and social resistance to potential negative impacts on animal welfare and on ecosystems. Questions also have arisen about the adequacy of the current regulatory structure to manage the complex interaction among environmental issues, public health, and food safety that developments in animal biotechnology may create."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33334