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Cloned meat and dairy products — safe or not safe to eat?

By Gary Bogue
Monday, January 21st, 2008 at 8:35 am in Cloned animals.

Below are excerpts from two press releases I received on Jan. 15 containing pro and con arguments on the subject of cloned milk and meat.
Please read them and then let me know your own personal thoughts about the subject.

Are cloned meat and milk safe to eat? Or are they not safe for human consumption? Why?

THE COMPETITIVE ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE SAYS THEY’RE SAFE:
The Competitive Enterprise Institute applauds the Food and Drug Administration’s verdict on the safety of food products made from cloned animals. The agency’s long-awaited final risk assessment concluded that milk and meat from cloned animals and their offspring is as safe as foods from animals that have been conventionally bred.

The FDA panel reviewed hundreds of scientific and medical studies, producing an exhaustive 968-page report that found no health or safety risks unique to the cloning process. …

“Since Dolly the sheep became the first successfully cloned animal in 1996, thousands of other healthy sheep, cattle and pigs have been born, but critics still claim the process will create monstrous new hybrids.” said Gregory Conko, Director of Food Safety Policy at CEI. “The scary predictions of anti-technology activists have been shown to be nothing more than science fiction.”

In response to ethical questions regarding the technology, Conko notes that breeders can produce better and safer food by cloning rare animals that produce leaner meat, for example, or that are especially resistant to common livestock diseases.

“The ability to drastically reduce illness among animals and to improve consumer safety arguably makes cloning more, not less humane than traditional breeding,” concluded Conko.

Competitive Enterprise Institute:
CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. For more information about CEI, see
http://www.cei.org

FRIENDS OF THE EARTH SAYS THEY’RE NOT SAFE:
Today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lifted a ban on selling meat and dairy products coming from cloned animals.

Tell grocers you aren’t buying it! Tell them you’ll stop shopping at stores that can’t promise not to sell such products.

The FDA has buckled to big biotech and agro-business despite more than 150,000 public comments opposing the lifting of the ban, and amendments to the federal Farm Bill and Omnibus Appropriations Bill calling for more research before lifting the ban.

Genetically speaking, you meat eaters could eat burgers from the same cow for years.

Don’t eat meat? We still think this issue will interest you, given the risks we take by introducing cloned animals into our food system and ecosystem. … there are no labeling requirements either …

The FDA claims that cloned animals and their offspring are safer for us to eat, yet studies used by the FDA are incomplete.

Cloned animals have a much higher rate of genetic abnormalities than sexually reproduced animals. Most cloned animals die immediately after birth because the intricacies of the cloning process are still not well understood. Dolly, the first cloned sheep, died only six years after her birth of premature arthritis and lung disease.

Friends of the Earth:
Founded in San Francisco in 1969 by David Brower, Friends of the Earth is at the forefront of high-profile efforts to create a more healthy, just world. Mission: to defend the environment and champion a healthy and just world. More about Friends of the Earth at
http://www.foe.org

So what do you think? Thumbs UP or thumbs DOWN on cloned products?

Click on leave a comment” below and adding your thoughts. Thanks. /gary

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5 Responses to “Cloned meat and dairy products — safe or not safe to eat?”

  1. Karen Says:

    I just can’t see that much difference between cloning and conventional breeding. If cloning becomes mainstream, the frequency of unviable offspring will be greatly reduced. The biggest danger I see is to the farmer; an entire herd of cloned animals might be suceptible to some disease that can wipe them all out. If that farm has been strongly inbreeding its cattle, the same thing can happen. I don’t understand what this mystery “unsafeness” is surrounding cloning.

    We’ve all been eating cloned plants all our lives.

    I’d much rather focus on the lives of the animals themselves, rather than how they were conceived. I’d rather eat chicken from birds that lived in a flock, as opposed to tiny, individual, torturous cages. I’d rather the milk I drink come from cows that don’t spend their entire lives standing in their own manure on some feed lot. I’d rather than the animals are killed humanely.

  2. bhf Says:

    Anti-cloning people, give me the data. I see a lot of dooms-day stories, but no “meat” to the story. I am not fully convinced that the industry is safe from scrupulous vendors of poor quality cloning, but that is where we should focus. If someone wants to eat meat, they should be able to have that choice. We should not have to hear any anti-meat propaganda disguised as a real fear in anything that might contain meat.

  3. Barbara Says:

    Dolly, the first cloned sheep, only lived to age six. The average lifespan of sheep is eleven to twelve years. My interpretation of “cloned meat,” therefore, is stuff that should have had an expiration date already recognized by the seller.

    If FDA can’t even get cat and dog food right, the thought of them fooling around with human food to this degree is scary. I can picture it now: “Cloned beef recall.”

    I agree that the purpose of creating animal life should not be to keep it in a stall for human consumption.

  4. Kimberly Says:

    Thumbs down, definately on cloned animals!! I don’t know much about any of the local grocery stores. I know my best bet is to shop at Mollie Stones, an independent grocery store; carrying Certified Organic Beef. There is labeling required! They use a small dairy farmer that only breeds organic beef on his farm. The animals roam free and eat of luscious green grass. These animals are fed only green pasture land, never fed in feed lots. Thank God for California and the California Certified Organic Farmers.

  5. Brittany Says:

    I’m 15 and writing a paper on biotechnology and cloning for my biology class.In my opinion, Meat is meat and if I’m hungry, I’ll eat it!! To me, it is an average burger and I don’t mind it has a “unnatural” twin. If the man upstairs didn’t want us to clone the animals, he wouldn’t have made it possible and if he didn’t want us to eat the cloned animals, he’d have made us not such a hungry human race!!!

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