Project Genesis

Mitzvos (Commandments)

Kosher Food

Genetic Engineering and Kashrus

Question: What are the implications of genetic engineering for kashrus?

Answer: Transplantation of a few genes from a non-kosher creature into a kosher creature doesn’t make it unkosher, because its basic identity hasn’t changed. (Also, gene transplantation isn’t cross-breeding, and isn’t forbidden under the laws of kilayim (See Lev. 19:19).) The situation would be more problematic if the transplantation resulted in a hybrid creature, but this would require transplantation of very many genes, and won’t be feasible in the near future.

All the Best,

Rabbi Azriel Shreiber

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