This is the Wikipedia entry for this “animal”:
The Enviropig is the trademark for a genetically modified line of Yorkshire pigs with the capability to digest plant phosphorus more efficiently than ordinary unmodified pigs that was developed at theUniversity of Guelph. Enviropigs produce the enzyme phytase in the salivary glands that is secreted in the saliva. When cereal grains are consumed, the phytase mixes with feed in the pig's mouth, and once swallowed the phytase is active in the acidic environment of the stomach degrading indigestible phytic acid with the release of phosphate that is readily digested by the pig.
Cereal grains including corn, soybean and barley contain 50 to 75% of their phosphorus in the form of phytic acid. Since the Enviropigs can now digest phytic acid, there is no need to include either a mineral phosphate supplement or commercially produced phytase to balance the diet. Because no phosphorus is added to the diet and there is digestion of the phytic acid, the manure is substantially reduced in phosphorus content, ranging from a 20 to 60% decrease depending upon the stage of growth and the diet consumed.
The benefits of the enviropig if commercialized include reduced feed cost and reduced phosphorus pollution as compared to the raising of ordinary pigs.
The Enviropig was developed by the introduction of a transgene construct composed of the promoter segment of the murine parotid secretory protein gene and the E. coli phytase gene. This construct was introduced into a fertilized embryo by pronuclear microinjection, and this embryo along with other embryos was surgically implanted into the reproductive tract of an estrous synchronized sow. After a 114 day gestation period, the sow farrowed and piglets born were checked for the presence of the transgene and for phytase enzyme activity in the saliva. Through breeding, this line of pigs is in the 7th generation, and the phytase trait is stably transmitted in a Mendelian fashion.
Seems from what I have read that the idea behind this is the concern of contamination from the manure that is spread on farms from the large scale pig farming pigs. Well, in my opinion; that is the problem right there. Large scale pig farming, a sustainable pig farm would be better especially if it were a pastured pig farm.
That means the pigs forage for at least 75% of it's food, not get fed 100% of it's diet through commercial feed. We still do not know what any of the GM anything will do to us down the line, but I doubt it will be good for anyone.
Here is a good question what if these pigs escape into the wild and breed with feral pigs? Somehow I doubt that would be good, and it would spread those genes where they were not meant to go. Maybe even into the US.
Stand up and say something about this, and stop it before it becomes a reality in Canada and here.