May 26, 2013
Who "Created" and Owns "Enviropig™"?
University of Guelph:
In 1995 scientists at the University of Guelph began research into the GM pig. A team of three researchers, led by Dr. Cecil W. Forsberg, Professor Emeritus in Molecular and Cellular Biology, created the first phytase pig they called “Wayne” in 1999. The University holds patents on the technology in the United States and China. The University of Guelph is entitled to licensing revenue and is looking for companies, particularly in China, to sign licensing agreements.[vi] The total cost of developing Enviropig™ was in the millions of dollars but the University of Guelph will not disclose the exact amount.[vii]
Ontario Pork, the organization that represents hog producers in the province of Ontario and markets their product, is the only private investor in Enviropig™ and owns the trademark Enviropig™. Ontario Pork has the exclusive license to distribute the pig to swine breeders and producers worldwide. Ontario Pork has funded the GM pig research and development to the tune of at least $1.371 million.[viii] The money that Ontario Pork invested in Enviropig™ came directly from Ontario hog producers who pay a compulsory fee on each hog marketed in Ontario. In addition to funding years of experimentation with Enviropig™, in late 2007 the Board of Ontario Pork agreed to fund “the process for applying to regulatory agencies in both Canada and the US for commercial production”.[ix] Ontario Pork is apparently finalizing a commercialization agreement with the university that will allow it a share of the revenues generated from the technology.[x]
Government of Ontario:
The Ontario government funded the development of Enviropig™ through research agreements with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and through the Rural Economic Development Program. Because the technology falls under an agreement that the University has with OMAFRA, the ministry would apparently receive a portion of any potential net revenue.”[xi]
Government of Canada:
The Government of Canada has funded Enviropig™ through research grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council as well as through other agreements with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
Advanced Food Materials Network:
AFMNet, a national network of researchers, industry partners and government agencies that funds a small group of projects, funded a three-year project to analyze “the value and ethical concerns of informed stakeholders on specific applications of animal biotechnology in Canada.”