Save $167 on 48 lb Premium Ground Beef Bundles!
Or save $77 on 24 lb Premium Ground Beef Bundles!

On the use of mRNA vaccines

written by

John Filbrun

posted on

March 18, 2024

Sometimes my daily commitment to the animals on the farm and to providing you with quality customer service prevents me from sitting down and writing about larger issues in the food industry. I always answer customer questions about larger issues promptly and directly, but I know many of you have the same questions yet don't always have the chance to ask them.

So I thought it was finally time to sit down and write something about a topic I've been asked about many times over the last year -- the use of mRNA vaccines in cows and other animals. I've heard many regenerative farmers address this issue as it pertains to their farming practices, and I'd like to do the same so you can continue to support The Maker's Meadow with confidence.

This is a complex topic, and I'm committed to an honest, transparent discussion about this subject and others as it pertains to the future of The Maker's Meadow and our regenerative farming practices. Please read on if you'd like to learn more about this issue and its many complexities. To give you the short version, there are still plenty of unknowns, and because of that, we are committed to raising animals free from mRNA vaccines.

Understanding mRNA vaccines

Before delving into the potential application of mRNA vaccines in the food supply, it's essential to understand what mRNA vaccines are and how they work. Unlike traditional vaccines, which use weakened or inactivated viruses to stimulate an immune response, mRNA vaccines deliver genetic instructions (mRNA) to cells, instructing them to produce a protein that triggers an immune response against a specific pathogen.

Are mRNA vaccines in use in cattle?

To my knowledge, mRNA vaccines for cattle are not yet widely used, and it's unknown if there are any ongoing or planned clinical trials. The specific use and approval of mRNA vaccines for this purpose would depend on regulatory approval, field trials, and commercialization efforts, which will continue to progress, in my estimation.

Are mRNA vaccines used in other livestock or animal products?

To my knowledge, mRNA vaccines for livestock, including other classes such as poultry (for eggs and meat production) and swine, and other animal products such as milk, are not widely used. The use of mRNA vaccines in livestock for meat, milk, or egg production would involve similar considerations as those for cattle, including regulatory approval, field trials, and commercialization efforts.

However, Merck introduced an mRNA vaccine for swine in 2018. This would indicate that some commercial pork may already contain this product, although I don't see any evidence that mRNA vaccines are approved or in use for other livestock or animal products.

Other potential applications in the food supply

The use of mRNA vaccines in livestock isn't the only potential application in the food supply. The potential to further modify specific crops (grains, vegetables and fruits) with mRNA technology already exists, and the concept of "edible vaccines" isn't entirely new. Scientists have long explored the concept of "edible vaccines," which involve genetically engineering plants to produce antigens from pathogens, effectively turning them into vaccines. Other widespread applications for mRNA technology include fertilizers and soil amendments.

Final thoughts

Plenty of reasons are given for the consideration and use of mRNA vaccines in livestock from the medical and scientific community. But our philosophy at The Maker's Meadow is simple: God created every animal perfect, and we see no reason to potentially alter their genetics or biochemistry when their bodies are already designed to function perfectly without synthetic substances. We raise our animals with regenerative and organic practices, which helps create a dynamic and diverse ecosystem, including healthy, nutrient-dense soil and grass. Our commitment to you is to continue those practices, with full transparency, as science and technology continue to develop in and around the farming and agricultural industry.

More from the blog

  • Farm website & online store provided by GrazeCart