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We Don't Use RNA Technologies on Our Animals (and Probably Never Will): 5 Things We Know & What We Do Here

written by

Meg Peery

posted on

May 2, 2023


There's been a lot of hubbub about RNA technologies in animal vaccines lately. 

And pause for a minute: We say “RNA technologies” instead of "mRNA vaccines" for two reasons.

First, RNA technologies (collectively called "RNA particle technology") — which are already being used to customize flu and other virus vaccines for the needs of specific industrial pig populations — are not the same as mRNA-based vaccines such as the one developed for COVID-19. [1] mRNA-based vaccines are still one to five years out from approval for livestock. [2]

Second, we want to emphasize the technology aspect of the discussion, because we feel this is about far more than just a “next generation of disease prevention” or a "new vaccine".

We believe the industrial animal complex (think factory farms/Concentrated Animal Feedlot Operations “CAFOs”) will likely use RNA technology as they use most technologies: not to optimize health (of people, animals, or the planet) but to maximize profit.  


Here are 5 things we know about the current use of RNA technologies and mRNA vaccines in livestock raised for food:

  1. There is evidence of widespread research and use of RNA technologies in the industrial swine (pig) industry beginning as early as 2012. [3] [4] [5]
  2. Livestock mRNA vaccines have been under development for years but currently none have been licensed for use in the United States. [6] As for RNA technologies, their use in cattle or poultry vaccines is unapproved at this point in the United States; RNA technologies are only present in the U.S. food system in pig vaccines (for now). [7]
  3. Any livestock vaccine on the market that uses RNA technologies will have an “RNA Particle” statement on the label. Farmers can absolutely be aware if they choose to be.
  4. There are currently no food labeling requirements that inform the consumer about which vaccine technologies are used in the production of their food.
  5. If you have been consuming commodity ("factory farmed") pork in the USA for the last several years, more than likely that pork is coming from animals treated with RNA technologies. [8]


What We Do at J&L Green Farm:

None of our animals are treated with RNA technologies. 

We have not, and will not be using products that contain mRNA or use RNA technologies until extensive and long-term safety studies have been completed. In fact, we do not see a scenario where we would use them even then.

We currently only use one vaccine in our pig breeding herd (Farrowsure Gold B It is an inactivated (killed virus) vaccine with a long track record of safety. 

Why do we use it? There is a common bacteria present in the soil of our farm called Leptospira, which causes significant reproductive issues with pigs. With our sows being on pasture and in the woods, this has been an issue for us in the past and has required treatment.

We always welcome any questions you might have. Please don't hesitate to contact us anytime.


LINK:  Shop Clean, Wholesome Pork!

[1] "...mRNA animal vaccines [...] are not to be confused with RNA technologies..."
[3] "2012: Protective immunity from mRNA vaccine against influenza A infection in young and old mice, ferrets, and pigs."
[4] "Using the RNA particle technology, the company [Harris Labs] developed a [swine] vaccine for the market by August 2015." https://www.nationalhogfarmer....
[5] "During the 2018 World Pork Expo, Merck rolled out Sequivity — custom vaccines targeting specific diseases in individual herds." https://www.nationalhogfarmer....
[8] Merck has a division dedicated to RNA technologies for swine and lists some of the largest swine companies in the country as customers. https://www.merck-animal-healt...

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