Crunchy and delicious lechon
Crunchy and delicious lechon

LOS BAÑOS, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday that the AquAdvantage salmon — developed using growth hormone from Chinook salmon and a gene from an eel-like ocean fish that makes it reach market size twice as quickly as other salmon — has become the first genetically engineered animal approved for American consumption.

AquaBounty Technologies Inc., the Massachusetts company that created the fish, calls it “the world’s most sustainable salmon.” Opponents call it “Frankenfish.”

Almost simultaneously, scientists at the University of the Philippines at Los Baños, Laguna, announced that they have engineered a fast-reproducing, fast-growing pig that is both safe for human consumption and a big boost to lechon production.

Lechon is a popular way of cooking a whole pig by roasting it for hours over a pit of charcoal fire. No Filipino fiesta or family gathering is complete without this traditional delicacy.

The scientists said they have been successful in injecting testosterone from dogs into pigs to make them reproduce faster and become more prolific. A domestic farm pig averages 10 piglets per litter and can have two to three litters per year.

The genetically modified pigs will mature faster. At the same time, lechon roasting time will be cut by almost 50 percent.

Lechon pa more (more lechon), as Filipinos would say!

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