FDA Expected to OK Cloned Meat

Is cloned meat safe? The government seems to think so. According to the Seattle Times, “A long-awaited study by federal scientists concludes meat and milk from cloned animals and their offspring are safe to eat and should be allowed to enter the food supply without special labeling.”

“All of the studies indicate that the composition of meat and milk from clones is within the compositional ranges of meat and milk consumed in the U.S.,” the FDA scientists concluded in a report published in the Jan. 1 issue of the journal Theriogenology.” Farmers have cloned animals for meat and milk, but voluntarily kept them off the shelves. —MEGHANN MARCO

FDA expected to OK cloned products [Seattle Times]

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  1. StopConsuming says:

    “should be allowed to enter the food supply without special labeling.”
    So consumers don’t have the right to know they are eating undead meat? The FDA has lost so much credibility by now that nothing they say can be trusted. The corporate agricultural industry pays off the FDA and FDA “produces findings” that promote the industry’s profits. The result: the public is in danger and future food supplies are endangered by weaker organisms being reproduced artificially. More antibiotics are needed for the weaker cattle. More superbugs emerge. People start dying from infection because both the pathogens are so powerful and the antibiotics are so useless. Soon scratches are will be deadly. “Oh it will never happen!” Once it was scientifically believed that cigarettes were healthy and not that long ago. The ads said, “The coughing will soon go away as you get used to the smoke.”

  2. Papercutninja says:

    I’m just not into the whole cloning thing personally. It’s just creepy. Isn’t it sort of cheaper to have animals have sex with each other? Just a thought.

  3. major disaster says:

    I don’t think it’s about being cheaper. It’s usually about maintaining animals with specific desired traits (meat quality, resistance to disease, whatever) exactly as they were in the parent animals. It’s much harder to control if you have to breed the animals normally (particularly those with long generation times, low birthrates, and expensive housing costs – so I guess in some sense, it is actually about money).

  4. bluegus32 says:

    StopConsuming — ok, you’re creeping me out. This Chicken Little nonsense is just that — nonsense.

    Think about this from the angle of the ultra-cynical, as you seem to be. What is the purpose of government? To maintain and create a populace that pays taxes. If your citizenry is sick or dying, you lose a tremendous amount of money.

    You make it sound like we are facing an epidemic. But the government would never intentionally allow an epidemic because it would destroy the bottom line–money.

    Furthermore, cloning has been proven safe. It’s not as if we’re cloning an entire animal. We are cloning a zygote and then nature takes over. The actual cloning that occurs is of just a few hundred or few thousand cells. From there, the animal develops as normal. From where do you get your idea that cloning creates weaker organisms?

  5. Papercutninja says:

    Ok, that makes sense…but it just seems like there’s something that they’re not telling us. While i’m not a fatalist like the first poster, there is something suspicious about this whole business. The huge investment in R&D, the large number of failed experiments/dead clones…it just doesn’t add up for it to be simply about consistency in livestock.

  6. ursonate says:

    This is enough to make me go vegan or are they going to clone all the veggies too!

  7. non-meat-stick says:

    if you don’t believe the FDA is in the pockets of the meat industry, you’ve been fooled!! Everyone is for sale in Washington, take off the blinders man.

  8. dperrella says:

    I love the comment on cloned veggies. It points out the absurdity of worrying about this.

    Cloning, or growing from cuttings, is extremely common in the plants we eat. It’s just real easy to do and doesn’t involve any scary science. Probably every apple, pear or grape you’ve ever eaten was grown from a cutting, not a seed. So was every single banana you’ve ever had. Those are “clones.” They’re just not scary to Luddites because we’ve been eating them for thousands of years.

    Why would you be afraid of eating an animal that is cloned if you weren’t afraid of eating its parent/donor? The point of cloning is that the two animals are identical.

    News flash: Not everything old is safe. Not everything new is dangerous. Deal with it.

  9. brilliantmistake says:

    Populations with little genetic variation (e.g. cloned or inbred) are more likely to have heavy mortality from disease. The more variation, the more likely that some lucky cows, or pears, or whatever, will randomly have genes resistant to whatever new bug comes along (and new bugs will always come along). The less variation, the more likely a disease will be able to sweep through the population.

    Personally, I have no qualms about eating a clone, as dperrella points out, we’ve been doing it for years. I do have concerns about how the lack of genetic variation can make our food supply vulnerable to epidemics, and the corollary increase in anitbiotic use can select for nasty bugs.

    I don’t see the harm in labeling. Sure, people might choose not to eat cloned food for silly reasons, but it’s their choice to make.