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United States Biotech Science

FDA Decides Cloned Animals Safe to Eat 323

Posted by Zonk
from the mmmmm-frankenburger dept.
friedo writes "After five years of research, the Food and Drug Administration has decided that meat and milk from cloned animals is safe to eat. From the article: 'The government believes meat and milk from cattle, swine and goat clones is as safe to eat as the food we eat every day, said Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine. Meat and milk from the offspring of clones is also safe, the agency concluded. Officials said they did not have enough information to decide whether food from sheep clones is safe. If food from clones is indistinguishable, FDA doesn't have the authority to require labels, Sundlof said. Companies trying to distance themselves from cloning must be careful with their wording, he added.'"
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FDA Decides Cloned Animals Safe to Eat

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  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday December 29, 2006 @11:32PM (#17406170) Homepage
    which is more funny? I dunno...
  • So.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Swimport (1034164) on Friday December 29, 2006 @11:33PM (#17406176) Homepage
    I can't wait till they can clone meat without that unnecessary nervous system, what will those vegans say then?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ScentCone (795499)
      I can't wait till they can clone meat without that unnecessary nervous system, what will those vegans say then?

      Hard to say. I still can't get one to say they're sorry for the painful, premature demise of the countless earthworms that are tilled to death so that vegans can have their Thanksgiving Tofurkey. Won't someone think of the collateral damage to the helpless invertebrates?
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        Especially because earthworms have ten hearts [wikipedia.org] each. It's like killing ten beings per worm, those dirty vegan scum.
      • in a spaceship as a source of meat - a big cancerous lump of it that continuously regrew as a source of food.
      • by RexRhino (769423)
        Unless the Vegan could care less about animal welfare, and instead is concerned with the female hormones in milk, or the antibiotics in meat, and that 10 times as much food can be produced on an acre of land from plants than meat... not to mention the fact that overconsumption of meat is leading to epidemic levels of heart disease and obesity.

        In fact, those earthworms are probably more healthy for you to eat than a steak (or tofurky for that matter).
        • by r00t (33219) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @01:46AM (#17406920) Journal
          You can graze animals on ground that is rocky and hilly. You can not operate modern farm equipment there.

          The best land usage is that we use the hilly areas for free-range grazing, the nice flat areas for growing plants, and various crummy areas for houses.

          Of course, we do: use the nicest farmland for houses, ignore the hilly areas, and use the crummy-yet-flat areas to grow food for feedlot animals. Our usage of the best farmland for houses is probably the biggest environmental error we make; we are bound to this error by economic factors related to the "tragedy of the commons".

          • by Kadin2048 (468275) <[slashdot.kadin] [at] [xoxy.net]> on Saturday December 30, 2006 @03:12AM (#17407286) Homepage Journal
            Alternately, as long as we're tossing around impossible-to-implement solutions, how about one where people just stop churning out children quite so often, and then we wouldn't have problems feeding everyone? If there weren't so many mouths to feed, the relative inefficiency and land requirements of a carnivorous lifestyle wouldn't be nearly as damaging. It's only when you start trying to scale it to billions and billions of people that it becomes a problem.

            I'd rather have fewer people eating and living what and where they want, than more people fighting over the scraps.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by a.d.trick (894813)

        I know you're half joking, but from my experience, the most common argument against eating meat is health related and not ethics. I've you've seen the way we "manufacture" our farm animals, you might agree with them too.

      • Re:So.. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by @madeus (24818) <slashdot_24818@mac.com> on Saturday December 30, 2006 @01:47AM (#17406926)
        Won't someone think of the collateral damage to the helpless invertebrates?

        Just to treat that argument seriously for a minute:

        What about all the invertebrates killed in the production of the tonnes of grain to feed to the cow? Cows eat around 100 lbs a day, that's a lot of feed and consequently requires intensive farming (typically things like soya in the US, not so much grass - contrary to what's regularly shown in dairy commercials).

        Additionally, it's reasonable to suppose that worms suffer less than cow's do when they are inadvertently killed now and then (the number killed would still be pail by comparison) as they are not as developed lifeforms. The panic, fear (stampeding) and abuse that in slaughterhouses is well known, it's not like the minimum wage failures-at-life who work in rendering plants actually give a crap about animal welfare, they've got an electric cattle prod and they know how to use it.

        The increasingly popular practice of slaughtering animals by cutting their throats and leaving them to (slowly) bleed to death so that they meat can be sold as Halal is not something we should shrug off as 'okay', it's barbaric frankly. People tend not to like thinking about the production process, certainly it's not something that comes up in school, for example, it's kept out of the way where we don't have to think about it.

        Typically, people say to themselves 'animals don't feel pain or fear like we do', while there is no denying that cows are not exactly equipped with the sharpest tools in the box, anyone who has had a cat or dog (or even say, a horse) knows they can be happy, bored, confused, in a bad mood and dream in a way that's instantly recognizable to us (and of course, people can and do eat cats and dogs too).

        I don't think anyone is claiming to be able to quantify life in a practical way (as if 1000 worms were equal to a single cow), but that doesn't invalidate choosing to be less, rather than more destructive. It is surely better to eat what you hunt, than to hunt and kill purely for self gratification, for example.

        I certainly squat/spray things round the house that are liable to bite or string me (mosquitoes, hornets, etc.) but if it's just a bee or a spider I pop in a jar and bung it out the window, it's not a big deal unless you are a total pansy. Though, I actually trapped the last mosquito in my room in a jar and chucked it out the window, though here the mosquito's - while just as noisy - are big and slow and easy to catch, much like the bees here (YMMV - you wouldn't likely catch me doing the same thing in the Mediterranean, for example).

        Self styled 'hard men' often seem to love squashing spiders and other harmless bugs (even Woodlice) I've noticed, and usually not even with their bare hands (more often armed with a primitive makeshift twatting weapon). I'm not sure what that is all about and (as little as I apparently know about women) they don't seem to be impressed with that sort of behavior, perhaps other guys are and I'm just not getting it. I would maybe be a bit impressed if someone killed a hornet with their bare hands, but killing slowly moving crane flies with a bit of rolled up paper is like a level 60 ganking level 30's in Hillsbrad Foothills.
        • it's not like the minimum wage failures-at-life who work in rendering plants actually give a crap about animal welfare

          what game are these people failing at? Life is about survival, if they work at the plant to make ends meet they are winning.

          Typically, people say to themselves 'animals don't feel pain or fear like we do

          Mostly people don't care.

          I don't think anyone is claiming to be able to quantify life in a practical way (as if 1000 worms were equal to a single cow), but that doesn't invalidate choos

          • Re:So.. (Score:4, Insightful)

            by @madeus (24818) <slashdot_24818@mac.com> on Saturday December 30, 2006 @05:29AM (#17407674)

            what game are these people failing at? Life is about survival, if they work at the plant to make ends meet they are winning.
            You might still think you'd be a winner in that scenario, but I would be astoundingly pissed at myself if I ever ended up in a job half as bad as that (e.g. telesales, traffic warden, burger flipper).

            I have exactly squat in the way of qualifications or higher education, and left home at 17 (no endless moochy moochy from parents syndrome here), I'm not a rocket scientist nor have I had inherited money to fall back on so I tend do be less than sympathetic to 'hard luck' stories from people old enough to be masters of their own destiny.

            Mostly people don't care.
            If you think that, try brutally kicking a dog in front of them or try and get them to watch a video of a slaughter house (cows, pigs, chickens) in action.

            I bet good money they care and find it quite distressing, but as I've said, that they try not to think about it too much. So, while virtually everyone know what slaughterhouses are really like, great effort goes into not thinking about it and into justifying it that it's okay because they are "just animals" (who do that sort of thing to each other anyway) and that's somehow they are all totally divorced from exclusively humans feelings (like pain, fear, suffering). You see the same arguments over and over.

            A while back, a TV station showed a country cook (a bit of a twat, by all accounts) taking in a "normal" family out for a weekend for some traditional country life, which included him trapping, skinning, cooking and eating a rabbit. The family on the screen (all lardy burger munchers) all accused him of being 'an animal' for being so barbaric, and the program generated record complaints, even though he wasn't the least bit inhumane about it. It was seen as unacceptably barbaric to *show* (even though far worse goes on behind closed doors).

            I quite accept you might not care what happens to animals or even possibly other people - I've met several people with that attitude to animals and other people - it is sociopathic behaviour however (and generally frowned upon in western society).

            "I don't think anyone is claiming to be able to quantify life in a practical way (as if 1000 worms were equal to a single cow), but that doesn't invalidate choosing to be less, rather than more destructive"
            Where do you draw that line? You do realize the destruction caused in making your house, computer, clothes, etc. Wouldn't it be less destructive to just live on a farm and grow your own food?
            The answer is right there!

            It might equally be phrased as:

            "Just because you are not the re-incarnation of Jebus himself should not be taken as license to spend your entire life being a complete cunt to the rest of the Universe."

            As a working example of the principle in action:

            When faced with a scenario like "Do you want to order (a) the veal (b) the free range game bird or the (c) vegetable bake?"

            (a) The answer Jason Voorhees would pick (this is only slightly better than "Just bring me a live baby and I'll drink blood straight from it's neck").
            (b) A reasonable answer.
            (c) Extra credit.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DerekLyons (302214)

        I can't wait till they can clone meat without that unnecessary nervous system, what will those vegans say then?

        Hard to say. I still can't get one to say they're sorry for the painful, premature demise of the countless earthworms that are tilled to death so that vegans can have their Thanksgiving Tofurkey. Won't someone think of the collateral damage to the helpless invertebrates?

        A friend of mine notes that it seems that what defines what a vegan/vegetarian won't eat is whether or not is has cute

        • A friend of mine notes that it seems that what defines what a vegan/vegetarian won't eat is whether or not is has cute babies.
          This isn't exactly limited to vegetarians. Most people in the US would think you were barbaric if you were to eat a cat or a dog, even though they're perfectly happy to eat a pig or a chicken.
        • A friend of mine notes that it seems that what defines what a vegan/vegetarian won't eat is whether or not is has cute babies.

          (Note: This applies to the style of vegan/vegetarian living in the West, where it's primarily a [political|personal style|fad|social] statement. It does not apply to those who live that lifestyle for religious or who must for health reasons.)

          From the political standpoint, it's interesting that the vegan and pro-abortion crowds are both largely at the liberal end of the spectrum...I

  • Isn't uh.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by joshetc (955226) on Friday December 29, 2006 @11:36PM (#17406198)
    Well isn't it kind of obvious? I mean.. if the original is safe to eat and the clone isn't, doesn't that make it not a clone?

    I also wonder if there is much of a benefit to cloning meat anyway. I'm by no means an expert on clones but don't they take just as long as the "real thing" to reach maturity? I suppose they could only clone high quality animals for the best hauls of meat.. maybe I answered my own question. Any other ideas would be pretty cool though :D
    • Re:Isn't uh.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ScentCone (795499) on Friday December 29, 2006 @11:43PM (#17406246)
      I suppose they could only clone high quality animals for the best hauls of meat.. maybe I answered my own question.

      In practice, no one is talking about cloning (for example) cattle for meat. The whole point here is to clone the bulls that are shown to produce offspring that, in turn, happen to make really good steaks (or lattes, etc). A prize bull is worth a fortune as a breeding stud. A clone of him is worth spending a fortune on, since he can go forth and make more of what's been working so well for the rancher. Breeding programs are lifelong, and even multi-(human)-generational activities. When you strike genetic gold, it's great to be able to preserve it.
      • Yes, cloning stud bulls who then, via sexual reproduction, create non-clone offspring.

        It's far too expensive to clone animals for meat, but not to use it on a limited basis for producing more offspring with desirable characteristics.
    • Re:Isn't uh.. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by joshv (13017) on Friday December 29, 2006 @11:48PM (#17406296)
      The idea is to replicate a particularly desireable trait without the constraint inposed by traditional breeding. Currently your best bet at that is to breed the desired animal with another high quality animal, and hope the trait is not lost. With cloning you can create a larger breeding pool of animals all with the same desireable trait. This dramatically increases your chances of creating a strain in which the desired trait breeds true.

      I don't think the point is to create an entire herd of clones. That will be prohibitively expensive for the forseeable future and would have some severe implication for disease resistance. But if Bessy produces 10% more milk than any of your other cows, and only 25% of her offspring have that trait, it's going to take you awhile to produce a herd with this trait. Wouldn't it be nice to have two or three clones of Bessys?
    • Problem is... (Score:3, Informative)

      by jd (1658)
      ...cloning currently isn't. The animal is NOT an exact copy, as they do NOT use both the nucleic DNA and mitochondrial DNA, the DNA is frequently so damaged in the transfer that only a tiny fraction of the "clones" are viable - of those that survive long enough to be born, the vast majority die within a matter of days. And even those that do survive suffer accelerated aging and other known conditions relating to genetic illnesses.

      If cloning was anywhere near the point of producing a genetically stable anima

    • Castration (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kadin2048 (468275)
      The real impetus behind cloning is castration.

      The majority of bulls destined to become meat are castrated well before breeding age, which means no offspring. If one of them turns out to be a prize specimen, you're SOL. With cloning, you can take a blood sample from the prize-winning bull and use it for breeding later.

      Since castration is also common in race horses and working dogs, they would presumably also benefit.
  • Shocking (Score:3, Insightful)

    by qbwiz (87077) * <john@@@baumanfamily...com> on Friday December 29, 2006 @11:38PM (#17406212) Homepage
    It's amazing! Cloned meat is just as healthy for you to eat as meat from the adult that had been cloned. Wow.
  • Would cloned humans taste any better than people do now?
    • by cmeans (81143)
      Two cannibals, are sitting around a fire, eating a clown. One cannibal asks the other, "Does this taste funny to you?".
  • Diseases (Score:4, Insightful)

    by robvangelder (472838) on Friday December 29, 2006 @11:41PM (#17406234)
    Imagine a single cow that has favorable qualities for cloning - grows faster, has better meat yield.

    Imagine that cow also has a hereditary problem that, when eaten, causes health problems in humans.

    The cow by itself would affect a very small portion of the population.
    Cloned, and undetected, it will affect many many more people.

    This scares me a lot.
    • by Fullhazard (985772) on Friday December 29, 2006 @11:49PM (#17406312) Homepage
      What 'hereditary health problem that is harmful to humans'. I defy you to name a single hereditary, undetectable health problem in cattle that is the slightest bit dangerous. Wait! Wouldn't a defect that hurts humans also hurt/kill the cow? Because we have very similar biologies?
      • by robably (1044462) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @12:03AM (#17406394) Journal
        I defy you to name a single hereditary, undetectable health problem in cattle that is the slightest bit dangerous.
        The disease itself doesn't have to be hereditable - the cows could simply have an undetectable hereditary increased susceptibility to, say, BSE. Naturally, the progress of a disease is halting, but when the entire population it is spreading through is uniformly "easy prey", all the cows could become infected very quickly indeed. We could all have eaten infected meat before the disease makes itself apparent in the cattle.
      • by vga_init (589198)

        I defy you to name a single hereditary, undetectable health problem in cattle that is the slightest bit dangerous.

        Man, you really have us there, naming the undetectable. I mean, how would we know it's there? I guess the joke is on us.

    • by Dunbal (464142)
      Imagine that cow also has a hereditary problem that, when eaten, causes health problems in humans.

            Name that hereditary problem please. Oh look, it doesn't exist! And BSE (Mad Cow Disease) is NOT hereditary.

            You might as well say "Imagine a cow that can spontaneously grow laser beams on its head and attack humanity. Now imagine if we clone that cow - they will wipe us out!"
    • Fud in the air?

      I don't see cloned meat as any sort of revolution for the industry let alone as anything necessary at all but....

      1) Aside from prions, is there any disease that cooking doesn't take care of?
      2) Is there any hereditary disease known to pass from species from species?

      The former might just be a failure of imagination on my part but if anything does happen, well, that's gonna suck for whoever is the consumer of that (I got hippie eating habits so you know moss, lichens.... organic, locally grown/r
    • Re:Diseases (Score:5, Insightful)

      by terrymr (316118) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .rmyrret.> on Saturday December 30, 2006 @12:23AM (#17406504)
      Eating cloned meat doesn't bother me. A bigger concern is maintaining genetic diversity in the herd, without it a disease may come along which wipes them all out.
    • by Jack9 (11421)

      Imagine that cow also has a hereditary problem that, when eaten, causes health problems in humans.

      The cow by itself would affect a very small portion of the population.
      Cloned, and undetected, it will affect many many more people.

      This scares me a lot.

      How about you imagine that research into cloning has possibly deterred us from detecting an asteroid that could kill so many people as to make the current world famines seem like a minor annoyances.

      Some people would _claim_ to shy away from picking up a hundred

    • Cloned, and undetected, it will affect many many more people.

      I think that the real problem is that cloning makes it easier to reduce population diversity. Monoculture is a disaster waiting to happen, and the short-term business interest in uniformity needs to be balanced by forces ensuring that variability is maintained in populations. It's not just what a bad choice of what to clone will do to whoever consumes the meat. It's also the risk of a disease taking down the whole population of cloned individuals

  • by gooman (709147) on Friday December 29, 2006 @11:41PM (#17406236) Journal
    Deja Moo?

    The feeling you've eaten this steak before.

  • by bmo (77928) on Friday December 29, 2006 @11:42PM (#17406242)
    ...is why this is even an issue.

    A clone is an identical twin. The cow/sheep/dog/cat is still a cow/sheep/dog/cat, whether twinned or cloned.

    The only difference is the method, with some methods being more successful at creating viable embryos than others.

    An human grown from an in-vitro fertilized egg is no less human, is he/she?
    A twinned human is no less human, is he/she?
    A cloned human is no less human, is he/she?

    The only stupidity surrounding this stems from bad science-fiction. George Lucas Must Die (hey, that sounds like a good schlock movie title)

    If anyone disputes the above, I will have to ask you to step outside.

    --
    BMO
    • by the_humeister (922869) on Friday December 29, 2006 @11:46PM (#17406286)
      It's an issue because the general populous isn't as smart as the average slashdotter. That's why stuff like this takes years to get through the FDA precisely because they want as much information to give to people saying that it's safe, no matter how seemingly obvious.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by wasted (94866)
        It's an issue because the general populous isn't as smart as the average slashdotter.

        While I don't disagree, just thinking about that really worries me. And now it will be in the back of my mind as I read posts, worrying me even more in many cases.
        • by bmo (77928)
          "While I don't disagree, just thinking about that really worries me. And now it will be in the back of my mind as I read posts, worrying me even more in many cases."

          Well, you should be worried.

          The last time that people thought other people were "less than human" we had a world war.

          --
          BMO
    • by Tribbin (565963)
      "A cloned human is no less human, is he/she?"

      So if you clone, you create a soul? Is it a re-incarnation or a fresh new soul?

      How do -for instance- Christians think about this subject?

      b.t.w. I'm a convinced atheist but I'd like to see 'believing-there-is-something people' bum-turn around these issues and I'm open for suggestions.
      • by Dunbal (464142)
        I'm having trouble reconciling the following:

        A. I'm a convinced atheist

        with

        B. So if you clone, you create a soul

              As an atheist myself, I have to ask - are you trolling, or what?
      • by wasted (94866)

        A cloned human is no less human, is he/she?

        So if you clone, you create a soul?

        I am not a Bible scholar or philosopher, but I don't think Christians believe they create a soul. I think that the belief is that the soul is added when life begins. The "when life begins" part is the area where the pro-life and pro-choice people disagree.

        Is it a re-incarnation or a fresh new soul?

        Since identical twins do not share one soul (as far as I know), I don't think a clone would have a non-unique soul.

        Again, I am not a

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak (669689)

      A clone is an identical twin. The cow/sheep/dog/cat is still a cow/sheep/dog/cat, whether twinned or cloned.

      The only difference is the method, with some methods being more successful at creating viable embryos than others.

      You seem to be confusing two things:
      1. Genetics - yes, clones are exactly the same
      2. Environment - no, cloned embryos are not raised in the exact same environment... therefore you get differences.

      Cloned embryos experience different environments in the womb, which means you can end up with

      • by bmo (77928)
        You seem to be reading more into what I've written than what I wrote. :-P

        The differences are not genetic differences. Please note that I can tell the difference between a "Jessica and Andrea" a pair of identical twins that I know, and I have not stated that identical twins are identical in every way.

        Jessica is an amateur boxer.
        Andrea is the quiet one.

        Both are exceedingly pretty.

        --
        BMO
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      A clone is an identical twin.

      That's the theory. In practice, they weren't really sure how exact the cloning process duplicated the original genetics. That's the issue -- there may have been some DNA damage in the process that caused some weird interactions.

      We apparently got the expected result, but it's definitely not something that should be taken for granted.

      • by smchris (464899)
        That was my understanding as well. But try as I may, I can't think of anything to get too excited about. Microwaving that burger has to cause a gazillion times more chromosomal damage than a viable clone would have experienced.
    • Because health problems roll over from the clone to the new born.

      Lets say the cow has some sympton of old age, this will roll over onto the new born animal as well. They clone the current state and put it in the form of an old state, so all the cell degeneration from 10+ years of living (example) is now present in a 1 day old animal.

      These cells won't be repaired and infact will just get worse, so clone 1 maybe fine for a few years, but as it gets older it will be twice the "age" in body than it should be in
      • by bmo (77928)
        That's all well and good, but the subject is whether meat and milk from cloned animals is safe to eat.

        Bananas are basically all clones of each other. I don't see people abstaining from bananas.

        ""Well fuck me, we've just completely fucked up" 10 years later when they find out Cow #2947492 was infact carrying an extremely rare defect which can be passed onto humans and thanks to cloning 10,000 people have this defect."

        Well, fuck me for asking, but how does cow-DNA wind up in human-DNA through a steak or glas
    • A clone is an identical twin. The cow/sheep/dog/cat is still a cow/sheep/dog/cat, whether twinned or cloned.

      It isn't anywhere near as simple as that. [telegraph.co.uk]
      • by bmo (77928)
        "It isn't anywhere near as simple as that."

        The solution would be to have a library of embryos and clone the embryos directly instead of waiting for them to grow up and clone from the grown-up sheep/cow/etc.

        --
        BMO
    • by ArcherB (796902) *
      I brought up the same comment when discussing stem cells. The argument I got back was that stem cells were originally produced in labs that worked mostly with mice, so there is a probability that the genetic material was contaminated with genetic material from mice. So evidently, it's OK to eat cloned material, but not do research with.

      I wonder if they cloned cattle in labs that worked with pigs. Could we then get true HAM-burgers?

  • From the article: 'The government believes meat and milk from cattle, swine and goat clones is as safe to eat as the food we eat every day, said Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine.

    So, is that the 'every day' beef with the dioxins in it, the tacos with the e. coli, or the mad cow patties?
  • Indistinguishable... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 29, 2006 @11:44PM (#17406272)
    I don't like the way they used indistinguisable here. I'm not sure, but I was under the impression current clonning technology left us with gimped out calfs.

    Isn't it the case that all cloned animal have a shortened life-span? Although genetically the same, I don't think clones are the same developmentally. I think there are some really horrible congenital defects that happen during cloning.

    I think this indistinguishable bit might be BS. Also, I would like to have a label stating "cloned meat". Many people refuse to buy knock off Rolexes, even though they can be indistinguishable from the original. It's a matter of principal to some.
  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Friday December 29, 2006 @11:45PM (#17406278)
    I can't say I like all the tampering science does to our food supply. It's too easy for stuff to get approved and too hard for it it get banned after approval (e.g. Sodium Nitrate). But what are arguments against this? The only real problem I see is the whole patent mess.
    • by Servo (9177)
      What I could see happening is the patenting and cloning of prize livestock, creating some legal issues with re-distribution rights, etc etc. i.e. I can't sell the offspring of my copy of Bessy because only the patent holder has the ability to do that. Then all the early adopters are locked in to buying the same clones over and over to resupply their herds.
  • by davidwr (791652) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @12:01AM (#17406378) Homepage Journal
    By 2008, you'll have 3 kinds of beef:

    1. Certified cloned beef
    2. Certified non-cloned beef
    3. no-label beef - like a hot dog, you don't know what's in it.

    Most people won't care but some people will pay extra to get that mmm-good taste of non-cloned beef and others will pay extra-extra to get that mmm-mmm-good-good taste only cloning provides.

    Even if category #1 doesn't show up on supermarket shelves, the "green" beefeaters who fear clones will create a market for category #2.
  • Despite de title, someone that disclaims IANABiologist will reply anyway, oh well...

    What I would like to know is what did they test to make sure it was safe. I am disconnected from all this cloning issues so the last I read was that clones had shorter lifespans than the originals. Some claimed it was because the base genetic material that they used might have transmitted it's "age state" to the new egg. Programmed cell suicide and all that. I also read that cloning of higher vertebrates was a really compl

  • I'm amazed it took them five years to figure out this one.

    Anyone knows how long did it take them to deal with more complex questions, like the safety (or exact composition) of a Twinkie?

  • flooding poor countries with cloned meat thereby further destroying their economy!
  • Text created by Control+V deemed safe to read by MLA.
  • by martyb (196687) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @12:49AM (#17406624)
    FTA:
    If food from clones is indistinguishable, FDA doesn't have the authority to require labels, Sundlof said. (emphasis added)

    I'd appreciate it if someone who was more knowledgable in these matters that I am could comment on the premise: "is a cloned animal actually indistinguishable from its donor?"

    For example: On average, do cloned animals live just as long as non-cloned animals? (i.e. same average lifespan, standard deviation, confidence level, etc.) I ask this because I remember reading that some cells can undergo only a finite number of replications and that there were some concerns about telomere [wikipedia.org] and aging that figured into this.

    So, are there ANY genetic differences between donor and cloned animals? That we might not have noticed a difference between the donor and the clone does not necessarily mean that there IS NO difference -- only that we HAVE NOT SEEN any difference... yet.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by timeOday (582209)

      If food from clones is indistinguishable, FDA doesn't have the authority to require labels, Sundlof said

      And I'd appreciate somebody more legally knowledgeable commenting on whether the FDA cannot require labeling for indistinguishable items. I think it's bull, and should be changed if that is currently the law. If a much or most of the public wants to know, then they should be able (through the FDA) to require it, whether for safety issues, purely personal ethical/moral issues, or whatever. The only re

    • As I recall, a telomere is a repeating sequence of DNA. Organisms with long telomeres would have a different average chemical content from organisms with short telomeres.

      Maybe one or the other is better to eat. (BTW, maybe the clone is better!)
  • by Jethro (14165)
    Well I'm pretty glad I'm a vegetarian right about now.

    (and I don't drink milk)
  • I say, if a company (or whatever) wants to clone and sell animals for food, they should just be able to prove that the cloned animal is 100% genetically identical to the original. If such a test can't be done at this time, or such an accuracy rate can't be achieved (assuming it's reasonable; I'm no genetical biologimist) then wait until it is.

  • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @03:11PM (#17411202)
    re-organized the ubiquitous "Food Pyramid" so that instead of putting grains and meats at the top, (small portions) and greens and fruit at the bottom, as was recommended by the panel of health scientists who were charged with coming up with the pyramid, so that instead the Pyramid was turned upside down in order to please the cattle and grain industry? You know, selling out the health of the American public for the almighty dollar?

    And gee, look! We have lots and lots of fat people today with heart problems. Go figure. --Not that I'm suggesting that the Food Pyramid now playing on a school library wall near you is the cause of all those hamburgers, but it sure doesn't help, nor does it cast the FDA in a favorable light.

    Anybody who trusts the FDA in any matter at all is asking to get sick. They serve big business, not the people. I don't know if a cloned chicken is going to kill me or not, and I don't care. I made the choice and went to the trouble to get to know personally the organic farmers who raise and care for the living things that I eat.

    It's a contract with life you make when you are born. You will take life in order to live. Since that's the only viable option, other than death, it's important to treat the lives you are taking with love and respect.


    -FL

Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson

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