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Cloned meat: Safe or not?

Posted Thursday, January 31, 2008, at 10:13 AM

The Food and Drug Administration says meat and dairy products from cloned animals is safe.

But some grocery firms say they won't stock those products due to consumer concern about fetal and birth defects and short lifespans in many cloned animals.

So are we risking our lives by eating cloned food? Even if a particular cloned animal has genetic defects, can we be damaged simply by its meat passing through our digestive systems?

I tend to think it's safe -- after all, defects aren't catchable like diseases -- but I remain a little skeptical when so many intelligent people have doubts.

Maybe time will tell, after those of us brave enough to eat cloned food have survived and stayed healthy for a few years.


Comments
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It'd be one thing if we're talking about one chicken producing eleventy-seven drumsticks due to cloning and manipulating undifferentiated cells.

If it means having dozens of genetically identical chicks,then that would seem more hazardous than incest or monoculture crops.

Where would we get the genetic diversity needed-especially if some of the cloned livestock were patented?

Where would the little guy get the animals to thrive in his ecological niche and fight off ever more formidable diseases?

If some nice company wants to resurrect defunct species or enlarge the gene pool for endangered groups,fine.

Otherwise,let's focus on stepping backward in time to an era when individuals could grow food that had an inborne resistence to the hazards around it instead of inherent vulnerabilities and risk factors we don't even know enough about to identify.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Thu, Jan 31, 2008, at 11:04 AM

I don't think we really know enough about the possible drawbacks. The FDA said that the chemicals were safe, then they were not, then.... They never looked at the combined toxicity until recently and decided that some may not be so safe.

The USDA approved cloning of plants and developing plants that are able to be sprayed by Round Up and still survive. Now they are starting to have weeds that have inherited the traits and are now SUPER WEEDS harder to kill.

They have also developed seeds that produce sterile plants and REQUIRE that you buy seeds from them next year, since saving them will not grow anything. That puts our seed supply in the hands of big business which is full of negative possibilities.

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jan 31, 2008, at 1:13 PM

I saw on the news the the FDA is seriously underequipped to do its job. I don't think the technology has been around long enough to do adequate studies.

I am wondering how a farm will produce cloned cows. Will they all be done via embryo transplant into surrogate cows? They still have to gestitate. I think the process will be too expensive for too many to engage in the practice for awhile. I can understand the expense for dairy cattle, but I don't see the advantages for beef cattle.

I know we have been eating genetically altered fruits and vegetables for a long time. When it's done as a selective process, I don't see any harm. When it's done by introducing genes from an unrelated species...I think there could be problems. I've seen corn that glows in the dark from a gene from bacteria that glows. I would liken it to introducing an exotic species (think Kudzu).

I think I will steer clear of them when I can, but it's not something I will loose sleep over because I don't have enough control or choice to avoid it completely.

-- Posted by Jacks4me on Thu, Jan 31, 2008, at 2:22 PM

heehee, get it? 'steer' clear of cloned beef

-- Posted by Jacks4me on Thu, Jan 31, 2008, at 3:08 PM

lol jacks 4 me steer clear

I don't want to eat cloned meat. I assume that they will have to put labels onit saying that it is cloned.

Nasty, there are somethings that just should not be done even when we do have the know how.

-- Posted by ChrissyF on Thu, Jan 31, 2008, at 8:43 PM

FDA says that cloned meat does not have to be labeled.

-- Posted by Jacks4me on Fri, Feb 1, 2008, at 7:32 AM

I will try to stay away from it if I can help it.

I'm not sure why we need to clone meat? There are plenty of cows, and plenty of dairy farms. Cows are reproducing fine aren't they?

Are scientist trying to show off their cloning techniques to impress us, or is there a reason for cloning cows that I don't know about?

-- Posted by Mary on Fri, Feb 1, 2008, at 8:10 AM

We already genetically engineer tons of fruits and vegetables...

So just in case you aren't aware, you are already mass consumers of such a thing and you probably don't even know it!

Genetically engineering is essentially changing the DNA of a fruit or vegetable, such as seedless watermelons or what have you. So yeah, the FDA doesn't care about our opinions b/c we don't pay them like those huge companies who seek profits do...

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Fri, Feb 1, 2008, at 8:39 AM

That's probably why alot of Americans suffer from lack of vitamins and nutrients. I like the Idea of eating what God created and Made for us, not what Man created and made.

Maybe they figure with "THE CONSTANT GROWTH OF AMERICA" we will not only have a SHORTAGE OF JOBS AND MONEY, we will also eventually HAVE A SHORTAGE OF FOOD TOO. So they are experimenting with creating more food. "Next it will be WATER"... Maybe even cloning blood, and body parts as well, $$$$$$.

-- Posted by Momof3&3step&1gran on Fri, Feb 1, 2008, at 11:30 AM

The thought of eating cloned meat is not is not at all appetizing to me. Kind of gets that stomach reflex feeling started when I think about it.

I wouldn't mind having a few clones of myself though! One to work, one to clean house, one to haul kids around, and definitely one to cook.

-- Posted by Disgusted on Fri, Feb 1, 2008, at 1:48 PM

Would a clone object to cooking other cloned meat?

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Feb 1, 2008, at 8:25 PM

What's the purpose of cloning meat anyway? Have cows stopped reproducing?

-- Posted by Dianatn on Sat, Feb 2, 2008, at 9:02 AM

I think they're already using cows from offplanet.

They feed them too much grain for them to be regular bovine plus they eat feathers,roadkill,foil-wrapped chewing gum and similar delicacies.

(I think the Earth cows are the ones scarfing down the anti-biotics and antacids.)

The meat extracted from these cattle can include all the parts where mad cow disease resides.

The packaging uses gases (from the alien planet?) to keep the contents looking and smelling fresh for an indefinite period.

Oddly enough,regular cows who graze and play in ordinary pastures are healthier and their flesh and milk have more taste and stay fresher without artifice.

I'd like to see these livestock folk prove they could handle normal,homegrown cows before they try cloning a bull that can thrive on poultry litter and Juicy Fruit.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Sat, Feb 2, 2008, at 2:54 PM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.