The world’s largest pork producer has created a bioscience division within its company in order to research the future potential of supplying pig organs for transplantation into humans, according to a report by Reuters.
Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, has established a separate bioscience unit to expand its role in supplying pig parts for medical uses, with the ultimate goal of selling pig organs for transplantation into humans.
Routine pig-human organ transplants are years away, but recent scientific advances are breaking down barriers that frustrated prior attempts to use pigs as a ready supply of replacement parts for sick or injured people, making it an attractive new market.
“Our bread and butter has always been the bacon, sausage, fresh pork – very much a food-focused operation,” Courtney Stanton, vice president of Smithfield’s new bioscience unit, told Reuters in an exclusive interview. “We want to signal to the medical device and science communities that this is an area we’re focused on – that we’re not strictly packers.”