Top food scientists say they are ‘very close’ to successfully breeding a turkey with a cranberry bush.
The new ‘turkberry’ hybrid bush-bird could be on our Christmas dinner tables as early as next year, if initial trials on old people are approved.
‘This is a significant leap forward in our understanding of plant-animal abominations,’ said chief geneticist Professor Susan Taylor from Rochdale Fusion Labs.
The team, led by Prof Taylor, weaved DNA strands from the Meleagris gallopavo (domestic turkey) with the Viburnum trilobum (American cranberry bush) using a pioneering splicing technique, and then grew the turkberry embryo in a synthetic womb grafted to the blowhole of an edited whale calf.
Work has already begun on other classic food pairings and the team hope to breed lambs with mint, pigs with apples, and fish with potatoes.
Prof Taylor said, ‘theoretically, there are no limits to the combinations we could create and when the procedure is perfected we could see bacon, lettuce, tomato amalgams and flavoured milk extracted directly from shaken cows.’
However, a spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has called for an ‘urgent review’ of the programme until more is known about the feelings of these new species.
‘We simply don’t know how much a pig will suffer with apples growing where its testicles should be,’ he said.