Do You Want To Eat Cloned Meat?

I alerted you about 18 months ago about plans by the FDA to debate the use of cloned animals for food. Thank goodness progress in this area has been slow, at least until very recently.

Expect interest to pick up after a study by researchers in Japan and Connecticut who claim the milk and meat from cloned cattle is virtually identical in composition to that of conventionally-bred animals. Their findings, the first comprehensive assessment of the nutritional value of cloned food sources, are spurring industry talk that food products made from such cattle ought to be sold in supermarkets.

However, those who criticized the report as incomplete believe social and cost-prohibitive economic factors are good arguments to keep current restrictions in place among others. Groups like the Humane Society of the United States has asked for a ban on milk and meat from clones, because many clones die mysteriously during gestation or soon after birth.

Others have argued, I believe rightly, about the necessity of cloning cows that produce huge amounts of milk in the first place, when surpluses, rather than shortages, are the main problem facing the U.S. dairy industry today. Highly charged concerns like these no doubt contribute to why the government hasn't moved any further on these issues. Again, I don't expect this inertia to continue.

If you're at all on the fence about this issue, let me remind you about the big problem with genetically modified foods. Consuming them is very much like participating in a giant experiment. There's no telling what GM foods will do to your health because these products have never existed before!

Washington Post April 12, 2005

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