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FDA Set To Approve Products from Cloned Cows 480

Posted by Zonk
from the mmmmm-cloneburger dept.
phantomlord writes "The FDA is currently set to allow beef and milk from cloned animals onto the market. Further, the products will likely not be branded as such and there is no way to know if we're currently consuming products from cloned animals." From the article: "Farmers and companies that have been growing cloned barnyard animals from single cells in anticipation of a lucrative market say cloning will bring consumers a level of consistency and quality impossible to attain with conventional breeding, making perfectly marbled beef and reliably lean and tasty pork the norm on grocery shelves. But groups opposed to the new technology, including a coalition of powerful food companies concerned that the public will reject Dolly-the-Lamb chops and clonal cream in their coffee, have not given up."
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FDA Set To Approve Products from Cloned Cows

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  • I'm excited. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:12AM (#16469257) Homepage Journal
    More producing products (cows, in this case) mean more supply of the products I use (cream, cheese and other high fat-low carb dairy products). More supply means lower prices. Lower prices means more business opportunities, which means a stronger economic outlook for those who can't afford the high barrier to entry created by the high cost to breed cattle.

    I'm sure there are some health concerns (my wife prefers organic, I prefer mass produced for my daily consumption), but I'm not sure that the concerns are valid. I travel the globe and specifically like to visit previously poor countries (Ethiopia, Uganda, India, etc) and what I see is people who have better lives because of the ability to purchase their needs cheaper. If the health concern is a higher rate of disease that might knock 5 years off your life expectancy, but being able to eat or clothe yourself or keep your body mass consistant will add 20 years, this sounds like a net benefit. Beyond the health concerns, though, we also can see that cheaper dairy might mean more business opportunities in the previously poor areas -- and this also increases the standard of living and life expectancy of the person willing to get involved in the new marketplace.

    I absolutely, positively do NOT want government requirements for labeling. If I am concerned with labeling, I will call the manufacturer of the product and ASK. I already do it because I don't consume trans fats (except for naturally occuring ones in beef). The government was "supposed" to regulate trans fat labels, but they haven't. Many items say 0 trans fats but contain a significant amount below 1 gram, and your government allows it to be labeled 0 grams. Nice. That's government at its finest. When I see 0 grams of trans fats, I will call the manufacturer and ask them to confirm the fact that there are zero, and most of the time they'll say "there's a negligible amount" which is the equivalent of saying "yeah, they're in there." No thanks.

    Forcing companies to label properly does NOT work. "Organic" means nothing, "0 trans fats" means nothing, "low sugar" means nothing, "whole grains" means nothing. If you're worried, contact the company directly and figure it out on your own.

    Cloned animals seems good to me -- if I can get marbled beef at a discount, I'll be happy. If beef jerky comes down even 20% in price, I'll be happy. If creams and cheeses can be made at the same quality for a lower price, I'll be happy. All of these items keep me healthy, slim and energized, and the cost savings means I can eat more -- making myself even healthier.
    • I really don't see the problem here. (agreeing with you)

      These anamals are not GMOs they are clones. Big differance.
      -nB
    • Re:I'm excited. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jimicus (737525) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:29AM (#16469705)
      Rubbish. It may impact price, but it will have almost no impact on quality which is already uniformly low in the average supermarket.

      You know how in IT, we say "good, fast, cheap: choose any two"? Much the same applies to meat. In this case, it's a trade off between lean meat, tasty, tender, length of time needed to prepare and cost.

      There are a number of things which affect what comes out when the cow is shot, skinned, cut up and put onto little shrink-wrapped polystyrene trays. Sure, one of them is the breed, but two very big factors are how the animal lived and how long the meat was hung after slaughter. Neither of which is affected in the slightest by whether your cow was made by a boy and a girl cow who loved each other very much, by a man with a syringe full of bull sperm or by a farmer wearing a flat cap and an old tweed jacket working in a lab.
      • Re:I'm excited. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:32AM (#16469795) Homepage Journal
        I'll throw rubbish back at you. I disagree with the "good, cheap, fast" because it absolutely does NOT prove itself in reality. I've been running businesses since I was 13, and I tell you think: I always sold 2 of the 3, but I also tried to make the third better. This is how competition works.

        If I was good and cheap, my competitor would try to mimic me and try to do it faster. Eventually, they would. Over time, good gets better, cheap gets cheaper, and fast gets faster. It is ridiculous to think of competition as a closed system. Actually, a State-licensed market IS a closed system only because no one has to worry about good, cheap OR fast. State-licensing makes things worse, more expensive and slower. See DMV for proof.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You know how in IT, we say "good, fast, cheap: choose any two"?

        No, but I know that little soundbite was used in reference to car mechanics long before any of us was likely born.

        There are a number of things which affect what comes out when the cow is shot, skinned, cut up and put onto little shrink-wrapped polystyrene trays. Sure, one of them is the breed, but two very big factors are how the animal lived and how long the meat was hung after slaughter. Neither of which is affected in the slightest by whether

      • by r00t (33219)
        GM means weird changes. (good ones, if you trust the corporation...)

        Cloning means NO changes.

        But as you say, there are other issues: grass-fed (yummy) or corn-fed (gaaa... all my food tastes like corn, from salmon to soda!), free-range (lean) or feedlot (greasy), etc. BTW, you can buy nice beef and unusual meat over the net. It's shipped in dry ice.

        We need to go beyond cloning. The solution is a matter replicator.
    • Re:I'm excited. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nessus42 (230320) <doug AT alum DOT mit DOT edu> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:29AM (#16469709) Homepage Journal
      If I am concerned with labeling, I will call the manufacturer of the product and ASK.
      You're going to call up every company for every product that you buy? And then expect to reach someone who will know the answer? And even if they do know the answer, you expect them to give you a truthful one?

      Without regulation, your hair dye would contain toxic amounts of lead. Oh, wait a minute -- it currently does! Sure, you have a point, the regulations are highly flawed. But without them, it is clear that corporations would try and succeed in getting away with murder.

      To fix the regulations so that they actually work, vote your bum of a corporate lackey representative out of office and tell him or her why.

      |>oug
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dada21 (163177) *
        Voting does nothing. I vote [unanimocracy.com], but not for anyone you'd vote for. The best way to vote is with your dollars -- and don't tell ANYONE why you stopped buying their product, but tell your friends and family why you did. Competition rises to meet demand, so when you remove demand, other competitors have to figure out WHY. That is what makes items better. If you set a bar at a certain level, the market will try to rise to ONLY that level (this is why the State fails, because they set the bar too low). If you
      • by cliffski (65094)
        agreed 100%. I'd much prfer to see MORE labeling regulations, and have them enforced big time, not just with minor fines for trangressions, but with nationwide product recalls, seriously huge fines, and where possible, direct personal prosecutions of those who knowingly allow mislabelling. Food isnt like buying new trainers, I put *this* product INSIDE my body.

        There is literally no limit to what sludge food manufacturers will shoehorn into your daily diet if they are given free reign. We have a great local,
    • by kiatoa (66945)
      Wow. A crazy post with +5 insightful. You know that one of the tenets of a working free market is an equally free flow of information? No free information means consumers (and producers) can't make good economic decisions. If you have the time and resources to call the manufacturer of every good you care about then bully to you. For the rest of us labeling is very important. The quality of the lables is a separate issue not to be confused with the need for labels. I think "Organic" and "zero trans fats" are
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by pubjames (468013)

      Your rant makes me think you probably have lots of arguments with your wife about this...
    • by mpapet (761907) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:39AM (#16469997) Homepage
      More supply means lower prices. Lower prices means more business opportunities.

      You mistakenly believe that the market for cattle operates efficiently. There is no reason to believe that the market for cattle would operate any differently than, say the market for desktop computer operating systems. It's exposed to the same amount of legislative influence, graft and corruption required to remain in a market that any other market for goods or services. Another example was the de-regulated power industry that California used for a while. Where was the greater supply of energy at lower prices promised? ...which means a stronger economic outlook for those who can't afford the high barrier to entry created by the high cost to breed cattle.

      Like most barriers to entry, they are legislated to address two needs:
      1. Public perception that "something must be done!"
      This is why your food supply is one of the safest in the world. Do you want more e-coli in your food supply or less?
      2. Protection from competition.
      This is why quickie-mart capitalism exists. It fulfills the rhetorical need to justify absurd policies.

      I doubt there is any opportunity to look at the issue objectively because like most quickie-mart economic believers, it's a belief that has it's own self-satisfying logic to it. No amount of objective analysis of how a market actually works versus your imagined and largely academic concept of how it -should- work will change your postion.
    • by Foobar of Borg (690622) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:40AM (#16470017)
      There is only one reasonable response to your rambling idiocy.

      MMMMMMOOOOOOOO!!!!!

    • by EatHam (597465)

      don't consume trans fats (except for naturally occuring ones in beef). The government was "supposed" to regulate trans fat labels, but they haven't. Many items say 0 trans fats but contain a significant amount below 1 gram, and your government allows it to be labeled 0 grams. Nice. That's government at its finest. When I see 0 grams of trans fats, I will call the manufacturer and ask them to confirm the fact that there are zero, and most of the time they'll say "there's a negligible amount" which is the equ

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bhima (46039)
      Interesting... I mostly disagree with you but I'm not surprised. My other random comments:

      They should come up with a new word for these professionals who work for corporate farms to distinguish them from farmers

      I prefer to purchase the majority of my food from a farmer who I can look in the eye... i.e. who lives nearby. I got on this kick a while back and I'm surprised how easy it is to get a majority of my family's food from within a 85 kilometer radius. (including most of my alcohol)

      I here you on the la
      • by dada21 (163177) *
        They should come up with a new word for these professionals who work for corporate farms to distinguish them from farmers

        I'm not sure it matters -- within 60 miles of my house we have a number of natural food grocers (and some co-ops of grocers) who take the time to investigate what they're buying. I prefer to pay 30% for their labor in doing this. The State still sets requirements on these companies that prevents them from doing everything I'd want them to do.

        I prefer to purchase the majority of my food
    • by localman (111171)
      I absolutely, positively do NOT want government requirements for labeling

      Why not? If we're about letting the market sort this stuff out, don't we need to at least make sure people are able to make informed decisions?

      Cheers.
    • God, I hope this was some kind of long sarcastic ironic rant. Because you could interpret everything in it as it's exact opposite and it would make sense.
    • >>more supply of the products I use

      Right. Even more, 'cause I'm sure as hell not buying that stuff. Honestly, the idea of a big mouthful of meat containing cells with fragile DNA strands is less than appetizing.

      Look, if a farmer can't accomplish a fairly simple task such as getting his cows to occasionally fuck and make more, then he probably shouldn't be playing with genetic engineering. Just sayin'
    • Re:I'm excited. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by radtea (464814) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @12:03PM (#16470513)
      Forcing companies to label properly does NOT work.

      Shady processors adulterated fertilizers, deodorized rotten eggs, revived rancid butter, substituted glucose for honey. Farmers began to learn about such deceptions from a new breed of agriculture chemists, often trained in Germany, located in State officialdom and helped by Federal funds. These chemists could apply their scientific skills to expose the work of chemists employed by industry to depreciate food products, as the Senate Report put it, in "a greed for gain." [fda.gov]

      Anyone who is interested in the mundane world of fact, rather than fanciful flights of political ideology, knows that prior to regulation and inspection, the quality of food was much lower than it is today. The quote above describes the situation in the mid-1800's, prior the the first national pure food act in the U.S. in 1906.

      The law is a powerful instrument, and it has proven to be more effective than anything else in forcing people who are selling things to not lie about what they are selling.

      The issue with food labelling has nothing to do with any rational concerns about food quality, however. The only issue is that consumers have a right to know what they are buying. In practice, the only way of ensuring that right is honoured is to have legal sanctions against lieing about what is being sold, and uniform labelling standards are by far the most efficient way of doing this.

      Personally, I'm not at all keen on supporting an even more uniform agricultural monoculture than we have now, so if meat from cloned animals was labelled I would tend to avoid it.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:13AM (#16469301) Journal
    a buy one get one free special
  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:13AM (#16469303) Homepage Journal
    When I first read the headline I thought it said, "FDA Set To Approve Products from Cloned Clowns"
    • Clowns (Score:2, Funny)

      by Kadin2048 (468275)
      Nah, they're way too tough and stringy.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Rob T Firefly (844560)
        But they do somehow fit an awful lot of patties into a single bun. Mmmm, clownburgers...
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by JonTurner (178845)
        So these two cannibals are eating a clown when one turns to the other and asks "does this taste funny to you?"

        (Sorry... I just told this joke on /. a week ago, but it was just too good an opportunity to pass up!)
  • As long as there is a stong distinction between trans-genic GM products and cloned products, Im all for it.

    Personally I'm fairly comfortable with GM products, but realise that many people have well founded fears (new food alergies, genie out of the bottle etc). Unfortunately many uninformed people will treat clones the same and make an issue due to FUD.

    Bring on the clones I say, this can only be a win for quality and value.
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      Everything you eat is genetically modified. Selective breeding is a form of genetically modifying the food you eat. We have been doing it for so long that we don't even realize it. Compare your standard North American cow to the ones you see in India. They are very different. I don't see a problem with them finding the best cow they can find and cloning it. I'm not saying they should start splicing in pig/ostrich/whatever genes into the cows, because that's a little outside the abilities of selected br
      • I used to say almost exactly the things you are saying now. Then I actually learned what the extent of the genetic modification of foods really was: it includes things like introducing gene sequences from insects and animals into foods. It isn't just selective breeding 2.0.

        My position on GMO has changed, very much, in the past 2 years. I suggest you get past the thought-experiment phase and look at the actual data.
  • Seriously, what is the big deal? Admittedly, I don't know all of the potential concerns, but in terms of a nice juicy steak does it really matter if the cow is cloned? Having a cheaper way of creating new meat may offend the animal-lovers out there, but in terms of feeding the world, it seems like it's a rather incredible breakthrough.
    • It may not matter at all in terms of health reasons. They may be scientifically able to rule out the possibility (to a high but imperfect level of confidence). But I still think that if people, for whatever reason, have some deep distrust of such products, they should still be given the OPTION to differentiate the products and not buy them. It's ridiculous to hide that information from them, even if their motives are ridiculous.
  • While organic food is nice and makes one feel warm and fuzzy inside, it is more expensive to produce: cows without growth hormone don't get as big, give as much milk, etc; plants without pesticides get eaten by these little things called "bugs." Now, organic foods are in some cases healthier (apple sans poison? Huzzah!), but unless something really strange happens, I don't see how a naturally born animal will have health benefits over and above a clone.

    That said, since there will be those who don't want t

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Cadallin (863437)
      "I don't see how a naturally born animal will have health benefits over and above a clone."

      This is the statement I take issue with. I'm not exactly sure how far we've come since then but dolly died young of progressive lung disease, and the articles I can find suggest that other cloned animals since are not particularly healthy, and that the process is far, far less efficient than simply breeding animals. By which I mean it often takes dozens of attempts to produce a single viable embryo.

      Given th

    • Re: Labels (Score:2, Funny)

      by TheMeuge (645043)
      Actually the label SHOULD say:

      "This beef is NOT CLONED. It contains 20% more fats than the cloned one next to it... doesn't taste as good... and costs 3X as much... please enjoy."
  • Yea there out there. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jellomizer (103300) * on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:22AM (#16469525)
    There will always be a group (Bate for Fox news) giving enviromentalist a bad name. Unfortunatly there will always be groups claiming to be Enviromentalest groups complaining about anything new and potentionaly good, bringing up erational fears and missing the point. There is so much we can do to improve the environment using a lot of these "Envromental Enemies" technologies. Genetically Engineered Corn can be used to create a biodegradable plastic, but Some Crazy Enviromental Groups will not give a green thumb becuase genetically engineered crops are evil. eradatated meat which kills of a lot of the bacteria, Some enviromental groups are giving that the thumbs down because it uses radation and radation is evil too, Even though after the meat has ben radated the raditation drops to well below what would happen if you defrosted it in the microwave. Meat Cloning will only improve the quiality and helthynes of the food, as well proving a cheaper cost, unlike hormones, and additional chemicals cloning is just extending the same meat. If you want to debate meat cloning get off the Envrionmental band wagon and explain how the inital costs will only allow the richest farmers to use this process and creating a market which puts more farmers out of buisness and make it difficult for 3rd world countries to get into the process. But envriomental. Darn it most of them don't eat meat anyways so cloning shouldn't effect them.
    • Fittingly, since we're at /. the concept of so-called intellectual property is at the heart of the GM debate.
      With an issues like this, it's all about keeping the issues straight. It's nice to see that people in this thread so far mostly don't see the problem with clones. After all, naturally formed human clones, identical twins, are around us all the time so who cares if cows are cloned for food. Indeed, you'd think cloning opponents would be happy to hear that all the cloned co
  • Consistency (Score:5, Insightful)

    by maxwell demon (590494) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:22AM (#16469529) Journal
    Farmers and companies [...] say cloning will bring consumers a level of consistency and quality impossible to attain with conventional breeding [...]

    I guess it will also give pathogens a level of consistency and infectability impossible to attain with conventional monoculture.
  • First Pet Savings and Clone, the company that made the first(and as far as I know) only commercially cloned cat for a private pet owner. However, what is interesting is that they could not even make the cloning process work economically at $32k a pop, so I wonder how cloned cows will be economically viable. I guess there is always that economy of scale issue.
    • by aXis100 (690904)
      The big wins are in cloning prize bulls, or exceptional steers that were found after castration.

      Cloning good milk producers would be a bit slow, but over time that would change. Remember that clones can have offspring (calves/sperm) too!
  • Where do you think seedless oranges come from?
  • go organic (Score:2, Insightful)

    by amigabill (146897)
    The industry is pushing me more and more toward organic foods. It's more expensive, yes, but at least I know I'm not going to have a reaction to hormones and stuff that doesn't have to be in there. I don' think that cloned food is all that scary, as it's coming from DNA we'd have eaten before the cell samples were taken for the cloners. I am more concerned about genetic engineering than cloning, as with engineered DNA, we haven't been eating that for thousands of years and thus it has more potential for "si
    • by aXis100 (690904)
      Im not convinced that "the public" can make an educated and informed decision. Ever watched an election?

      One on one, and given the right information, most people can make an informed choice that blends the facts and their own moral compass. Unfortunately if you leave it up to "the public", a large number of people will be swayed by advertising (both true and false, both positive and negative).

      Personally I'd rather leave this debate in a controlled forum rather than release it onto the supermarket floor. T
  • by RingDev (879105) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:28AM (#16469687) Homepage Journal
    is not health impact on humans consuming 'cloned' produce. Nor is it even genetically breading for improved feedstock.

    The real danger here is a homogenized feed stock. If every cow in the world (or greater market region) is a clone of the same cow, they will all have the same strengths and weaknesses. A virus that may have previously only effected 5% of the feedstock population could suddenly effect 100% of the feedstock population.

    I can see using cloning in two situations. 1) Immediate needs over ride the risk of losing the entire stock, and 2) as a small % of existing live breading facilities. As in a beef farmer may have a few hundred head of cattle, of those, 90% are 'normal' bread cows, the other 10% are clones. The clones would likely have a higher resale rate as you would be almost guaranteed the perfect cow. This way, even if something effects the clowned cow, you won't be out the entire food source, just a portion of "cash cow" income.

    -Rick
  • This lean meat crap makes me want to puke. For those of you who are old enough to remember, beef and pork used to have lots of fat which is what makes it taste good.
  • by TheRecklessWanderer (929556) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:32AM (#16469789) Journal
    All I hear today is, don't eat this, don't eat that, don't eat the other.

    I recently found I have diabetes type 2. Thats the one where you have to watch your diet and take some metformin and other drugs (maybe), and exercise. (BLAH). Boo hoo for me, my Dad has it, my Grandfather on my mom's side, I'd be a little stupid if I wasn't expecting it. In any case, I went to these "Diabetes seminars" put on by the local hospital. There is a nurse, and she talks about how to take care of yourself. Lots of fliers, and basically, she says, don't eat this don't eat that, all the stuff I like. 3 days of seminars, and I have to go visit the nurse and do this and that and the other.

    Eventually I figure out that this is just go generate easy money for the hospital. They are billing the province a huge amount for each seminar and visits, so I said screw it. Now I just do it myself and everything is fine.

    Where am I going with this tho? Thanks for asking. Everybody is saying this is bad for you, that is bad for you. Oh, don't drink milk, it causes cancer. Don't eat peanut butter at school, people have allergy's. Freakin peanut butter, I grew up on that. Something is always bad for you. You have to eat something. I'll be damned if I'm going to spend my life eating rabbit food. Screw that.

    So they are cloning my steaks now. Sometimes I find a really good tbone at the butcher, sometimes it's not so good. I would love to find one that I like, and clone that over and over again. Give me another a1j447L2K please. Perfect every time. Whew hew.

    Let's not forget that every time somebody says something is bad for you, there is an agenda behind it. Pepsi says Coke is bad for you. Coke says Pepsi is bad for you. Milk marketers say juice is bad for you. The government wants you to know smoking is bad for you because it is a huge burdon on the health industry. (Well, it is bad for you, duh!).

    It drives me crazy everybody telling me what to eat and what to drink. I'll do what I want.

    • I couldn't agree more! Every time I read a news article about some supposed concern over eating a food (or the opposite - a recommendation that such-and-such is "good for you"), evidence is brought up challenging their opinion.

      Just yesterday, Yahoo News had some piece about 4 things you could do to reduce your risk of cancer, and at least 3 of the 4 were pure speculation and questionable at best! (For example, one "tip" was to use spices like cinnamon, because of it's supposed cancer-inhibiting properties
    • by Vellmont (569020) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @01:36PM (#16472529)

      Everybody is saying this is bad for you, that is bad for you. Oh, don't drink milk, it causes cancer. Don't eat peanut butter at school, people have allergy's. Freakin peanut butter, I grew up on that. Something is always bad for you. You have to eat something. I'll be damned if I'm going to spend my life eating rabbit food. Screw that.

      Stop listening to just anyone and everybody, and start getting information from actual scientists and not dumb journalists out to sell eyeballs. Educate yourself about your disease and how foods affect your blood sugar. Don't just simply rely on someone to tell you what to eat, find out the reasons for it.

      There seems to be a belief out there that all science is just whooey because it's all influenced by politics and self interest. That's largely not true. The self interest comes from the people reporting the science. Some of them are just reporters looking to sell eyeballs. Some are people with an agenda against meat, GM food, corporations, etc. These kind of people will ignore evidence, miss-report and miss-interpret evidence, listen to pseudo-scientists as if they were real scientists, etc.

      If you want to eat candy bars all day and advance yourself to insulin dependent diabetes, go blind at 50, or worse, go right ahead. But don't bundle all claims about food together in one category as if they're all equally bad (or good for that matter).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by crabpeople (720852)

      "So they are cloning my steaks now. Sometimes I find a really good tbone at the butcher, sometimes it's not so good. I would love to find one that I like, and clone that over and over again. Give me another a1j447L2K please. Perfect every time. Whew hew"

      Perhaps it is the occasional bad steak that makes the good ones taste better. Eliminate the occasional, or even regular, bad steak and the good ones will normalize out so that they wont be "really good" anymore and will end up being normal.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MWoody (222806)
      I can't believe this shit got modded up. I'm sorry, Reckless, that you've got diabetes. But them's the breaks. And yeah, it DOES mean that you have to watch what you eat and drink. Or you die. Very simple. As you've said, given your relatives, it's in the blood; there is NO ONE to blame but yourself for not having recognized this fact and made the necessary changes to prevent this eventuality, or at least make its impact lessened.

      Your little tantrum will take you right to the grave, and it might take
  • Big deal? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by a_nonamiss (743253) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:37AM (#16469909)
    Honestly, I don't see what the big deal is. Cloning is exactly like forcing twins. Are cows that are born as twins any less healthy than non-twin cows? All you are doing is creating a genetic copy, something which happens all the time in nature. I think people scared of cloning have watched too many Star Wars prequels. Sure, there is an evil use for cloning, but there is an evil use for almost everything.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      And there is always an evil twin. Thus without proper labelling, you would have a 50% chance of eating an evil hamburger.
  • by Ranger (1783) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:38AM (#16469945) Homepage
    Soon we'll all be eating cloned beef from cattle raised in high density feedlots [themeatrix.com] who stand around in their own feces and urine pumped full of growth hormones and antibiotics. Then the meat will have to be irradiated to kill the resistant strains of E. coli created in the cattle's stomachs because were forced to eat corn that they didn't evolve to eat.

    Since consumers will expect their irradatiated meat to glow in the dark, they'll create glowing cattle just like the glowing pigs [bbc.co.uk].

    Read Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma [michaelpollan.com] if you want to or watch Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms talk about the real future of raising meat [berkeley.edu] (long) and how to turn vegetarians back into meat eaters and why it's important to have promiscuous healthy earthworms.
  • Deja-moo (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rhys (96510) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:38AM (#16469965) Homepage
    The feeling that you've eaten this beef before.
  • If they are going through this much trouble, couldn't they eventually be able to "grow beef" in a lab? Who needs the whole cow. My meat doesn't need a soul. Would get my vegetarian g/f off my back about eating "cute animals".....
  • ...level of consistency and quality impossible to attain with conventional breeding,

    Mc D's hamburgers have a level of consistency and quality impossible to attain with conventional cooking. Every damned one of them the same. They have people specializing in making sure they are of the highest quality that can be attained *reliably*, which means they kind of tast a little like dog shit and pickles (or what I suppose pickles and dog shit might tast like).
    They have a certain quality, and its always consistent.
  • Cloning (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anon-Admin (443764) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:39AM (#16469995) Journal
    From my experience, cloning gives a better and more uniform product. I have cloned 1000's of plants and everyone of them is the same.

    Next time you see some one protesting cloning, ask if they would like a good joint of Dro to puff on. Good Hydro weed is all clone. This gives a uniform response and eliminates the need to locate the males. Cloning beef is bad! Cloning Weed it good? hmmm.
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:41AM (#16470035) Homepage
    "the products will likely not be branded as such and there is no way to know if we're currently consuming products from cloned animals."

    Right. The "it's a free-market, vote-with-your-dollars" folks never explain how you can vote with your dollars if you can't tell what you're buying.

    The current administration talks a good line about a "free market," but their application of the principle is very selective.
  • by Vellmont (569020) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:42AM (#16470047)
    Never eat another apple. Yes, every single apple is a clone of the first tree of that type of apple. Apple trees in agriculture are propogated by cuttings. The seeds inside will likely produce a tree with apples that tastes nothing like its parent.
    • You also can't graft a cow into soil and make it grow. There's a difference between selective breeding and cellular-level manipulation of organisms.
  • Cloning is the fastest path to a monopoly on beef production. Put aside "frankencow" or other fear-based rhetoric for a moment.

    Like ADM and Cargill in the corn production world, it's only a matter of time before whoever runs the largest beef production factory abuses what's left of smaller production factories.

    What happens to the gene pool of cows once cloning starts? I predict you'll narrow it a great deal thereby creating another monoculture. It's easy to argue why monocultures are bad.

    In the current p
  • The reason why government should be insisting manufacturers label their products as others have urged is because food manufacturers refuse to answer consumers' questions about what is in their products, especially where cloning technology is involved. Suppressing information about cloning technology in products denies consumers their natural right to choose different products and gives the wrong impression that there is something bad which must be hidden from consumers. It opens a door to the Luddites shout
  • making perfectly marbled beef and reliably lean and tasty pork the norm on grocery shelves.


    Why would the food industry sacrifice profit for taste? What is different about beef and pork that would make them produce us high-quality products? Technology is used to provide us lower-quality fruits and vegetables. The quality of produce available in the US is appalling compared to other countries. (althoug it often looks nice!)

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