One of the raps on agbio has been that it hasn't given consumers products where they can see clear benefits to themselves. But guilt-free steak could be just what the doctor ordered. The identification of an inhibitor for a growth factor that controls skeletal muscle mass could lead to livestock with an increased mass of leaner muscle.

Although cattle breeds with the lean phenotype exist, decades would be required to replace existing breeds using conventional breeding. Rather than wait, MetaMorphix Inc. is developing pharmaceuticals and vaccines that can be administered to livestock to alter control of the growth factor, leading to leaner meat production among existing livestock breeds.