Time has an interesting article about the unmarked cloned beef that will be washing up at your grocery store sometime soon. Are you grossed out? Not? [Time]

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  1. picardia says:

    For me it’s that extra little nudge toward finally giving up red meat.

  2. teh says:

    @picardia: Either that or you can support your local agricultural community and get your meat from a local butcher. I understand that it’s not often practical for everyone, but there are a lot of butchers out there if you look.

  3. bonzombiekitty says:

    Cloned meat doesn’t bother me when it comes to eating it. I may or may not have ethical/practical problems of using cloned beef; practical more than ethical actually. But I’m not afraid to eat it, not am I grossed out by it.

    It’s genetically the same as any other sort of meat. I don’t know why I should be grossed out by it.

  4. bonzombiekitty says:

    That was supposed to be “… nor am I grossed out by it”

  5. yesteryear says:

    ewwww! thank god i don’t eat red meat.

    the FDA might not require the cloned meat to be labeled, but smart free-range and organic farms will label theirs ‘non-cloned’. the problem will be eating at restaurants… how will folks know if their steaks and hamburgers are cloned or not?

  6. Mr. Gunn says:

    There’s nothing wrong with genetic engineering. It accomplishes the exact same thing selective breeding does, just faster.

    The problem is the ends to which any kind of engineering is put. Are you selecting more nutritious products, or are you selecting more transportable or more easily processed products? It’s just as bad( or just as good) no matter if the traits are bred or selected in a lab. Labeling stuff “cloned” is an attempt to manipulate the feelings of consumers, and results in a poorer food supply. Don’t be ignorant or easily manipulated, people. Be educated consumers who realize genetic engineering is just a tool, not inherently bad any more than a gun or a car is inherently bad.

    Engineering of the food supply is essential to support the levels of population density we currently have. Wishing for locally grown, traditionally produced food is a luxury only well-off people have, and to deny engineered corn or wheat to third world-countries is horribly injust.

  7. yesteryear says:

    addendum: whole foods has already pledged to never sell cloned meat.

  8. hubris says:

    @teh: Local butchers don’t necessarily get their meat from local sources. You’d have to ask.

    I don’t have an ethical problem with cloned meat. They’re born and grow just like normal animals. But I don’t know if I could wrap my head around it personally. One more reason to go vegetarian, which I’m already seriously considering.

  9. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Something about this clown meat tastes funny.

  10. stre says:

    @picardia: @yesteryear: are you going to give up corn, too? after all, a lot of that is genetically engineered.

    @Mr. Gunn: well said

  11. beavis88 says:

    The thought of eating the meat doesn’t bother me. What does bother me is what cloning is likely to do to genetic diversity in our livestock, and more specifically, what else we’ll have to do to those animals to keep them alive and productive in the long term. Our society’s short term fixation with profits has a long history of leading us into poor long term decisions. Capitalism is only the perfect system when money is the most important measure of success. When it comes to *my* food supply, that is most definitely not the case.

  12. sleze69 says:

    The controversy with cloned meat reminds me of the people who think that irradiating food is unhealthy (HINT – when you cook food, you expose it to INFRARED RADIATION).

    Unlike the people screaming about global warming, people screaming about cloned meat have no real science to back up their claims (of danger). All the cloned-meat fear-mongering is based on opinions and worst-case scenarios with no studies to back up those worries.

  13. DMDDallas says:

    @Mr. Gunn: wow petty moralism. how quaint.

    how is it ‘injust’ to deny the third world which they are not able to create for themselves? You may keep them going, but they’re not doing anything for themselves. they’re slaves to you. wouldn’t it be more compassionate to teach them how to create a local sustained economy in which they can provide for themselves?

    genetic engineering has many flaws, and we don’t fully understand the effects yet. if population density becomes a problem, wouldn’t the solution be to stop overbreeding instead of forcing humans into unnatural lifestyles?

  14. sleze69 says:

    @beavis88: Too bad I didn’t see your post when I was composing mine. You do bring up a very valid concern for the geneticists making our food.

  15. DMDDallas says:

    its likely that there are no immediate health concerns with the beef. my concern is the long term implications that engineering of the food supply has… as another poster brings up, we don’t quite fully understand what problems may manifest in successive generations.

    it seems to me as a ploy to drive down the cost of beef for the benefit of global producers. i’d rather see the re-emergence of local markets and local agriculture. our culture has been paved over with the ‘culture’ of money and materialism. its time to turn things back

  16. jroberts says:

    I think it was in an Isaac Asimov book that talked about having cloned meat minus the animal. Just growing the actual meat you would eat instead of actually cloning an animal. The gross factor might be an issue, but my ethical problems with hurting animals would be solved.

  17. firefoxx66 says:

    @beavis88: Agreed. I have no qualms eating cloned meat – it’s the same as non-cloned beef (that’s kind of the point). But, I have huge qualms buying cloned beef, as I don’t want to support the genetic homogenization of our livestock. Without genetic diversity, we put ourselves at great risk of having the vast majority of our livestock wiped out by a single virus/bacteria strain.

    Luckily I don’t eat much red meat anyway – I long ago switched to buying ground turkey to substitute for ground beef.

  18. firefoxx66 says:

    @Mr. Gunn: Engineering and cloning are two completely different things and have very different arguments. Cloning animals would be no benefit to 3rd world/poor countries, as it costs a hell of a lot more to build a lab to generate clones than to put two cows in a pen and let them get it on.

  19. bonzombiekitty says:

    @beavis88: Those are my practical issues I have with using cloning for agriculture.

  20. Sherryness says:

    These food animals already suffer enough – is it too much to ask that they should get to fornicate?

  21. InThrees says:

    I’m more concerned with how the cloned cows are slaughtered and whether their tender vittles are tainted than I am with… well, cloning beef.

  22. CumaeanSibyl says:

    I’d like a label for it, myself. I don’t have any objection to eating cloned meat, but I like to know what’s up with my food.

  23. ext212 says:

    You’d eat “beef” made out of tofu, why not this!

  24. CuriousO says:

    there is so much crap in food these days…who cares if they re cloned? Just slap some A1 and i am good to go!!!

  25. dwneylonsr says:

    As long as it still tastes like steak, I’m good.

  26. AceKicker says:

    Until cloned cows start turning up as meatless zombies, hungry for revenge against their human masters, I say I’ll take mine medium well, thanks.

  27. Mr. Gunn says:

    It’s injust to let people starve when you have technology that would work towards solving the problem. I don’t see what’s petty about that.

    firefoxx66: LOL. Not every cloned animal is grown in a test tube. You clone the first couple, then breed them after that. If you cloned animals that were resistant to disease and could produce milk more readily with less water/grain consumption, then it would be cheaper to clone these guys and give third-world countries breeding pairs.

  28. dancemonkey says:

    What I wish is that they would tell us which cow the beef came from.

    That way if I get a particularly sweet slab of tenderloin I can just go back and look for the same cow’s product.

  29. Mr. Gunn says:

    The genetic diversity thing is a problem, but only a BAD problem if we gave these genetically-identical animals and didn’t support the livestock afterwards. It would be an ongoing management problem, not something we could just walk away from, but better than just letting people starve.

  30. obfusciatrist says:

    I don’t eat cow so it is somewhat moot, but when they start delivering cloned fish I won’t have a problem with it then either.

  31. TMurphy says:

    Well if few people eat this stuff, it’s more for me!

    -I really hope the sensationalism about cloned meat somehow being disgusting goes away quick (people didn’t trust microwaves when they came out, and I think those things turned out pretty safe).

    -I hope a traditional stock of cattle continues to be used to help promote genetic diversity; cloned meat can be a great way to multiply the supply of a great breed, but we need to keep a gene pool going.

  32. mmm cloned beef. Think of the wonders. Let’s make muscle clones that live in vats, and get their nutrition from tubes. Think on this… a cow with nothing but tenderloin, ribeye, strip and hanger. YUM! I’m not even being sarcastic here.

    Think on this too. So, you build a factory to grow cloned steaks. It’s sunk cost. They recoup it with profit margin, but over the long haul, cloning increases supply, without effecting demand. If you read this site and don’t know what should happen (prices go down), you should get a cheap economics text book. Imagine this too. Label the cloned food. Maybe it drives some folks off of beef (again, price go down). Maybe it keeps people on the free range organic stuff (driving price of cloned down). Cloned beef might wind up as cheap as pork. NICE!

    I urge you. If you’re thinking about giving up beef, GO! We don’t need you. In fact, you’re keeping prices high.

  33. Blackneto says:

    I want vat grown meat.
    I’ve been reading about it in Sci-Fi books all my life.
    I want it now. And my flying car.
    I was promised a flying car by this time.

  34. MYarms says:

    I could care less about cloned beef. So what its grown in a lab, it doesn’t live its whole life there. And even if it did I suspect it would probably taste a whole lot better.

  35. bgrigson says:

    Soylent green is people!
    [en.wikipedia.org]

  36. yesteryear says:

    @stre: i think there’s a difference between cloned meat and genetically engineered vegetables. namely, cows have feelings. for anyone who saw that horrifying footage of the cows being prodded and dragged by chains over the weekend, it’s pretty clear that many of these industrial farming outfits have no problem treating animals like crap. i wonder how the cloned cows will be treated? any better? and for the record, genetic engineering has singlehandedly killed off the delicious tomato. you literally have to buy them organic or homegrown unless you want to feel like you are gnawing on a stump. the future is for the birds!