Companies and biotech researchers actually welcome the prospect of firm rules, because it would encourage investment after years of delay.
“Right now, it’s very hard to get any corporate investment,” said James D. Murray, a professor at the University of California, Davis, who developed the goats with the infection-fighting milk. “What studies do you need to do? What are they looking for?” he said, referring to government regulators. “That stuff’s not there.”
Researchers have come up with a wide variety of applications for genetic modification in livestock, including faster-growing salmon, pigs whose manure is less polluting, and goats’ milk with healthful properties. But it’s not clear if food companies, or their customers, will want the new products, even if they are approved.