Food from clones coming to a store near you! October 18, 2006Posted by Hegemony in Science, Science Rants.
So I hear tell that the FDA plans to allow milk and meat from cloned animals to be sold to people. “But wait,” you think “isn’t that dangerous?” Well, no it isn’t. Cloned animals have been around for many years now. You may think that Dolly the sheep was the first, she wasn’t. Dolly was just the first mammal to be cloned. The risks of cloned animals have been fully explored. A recent study of cloned animals has shown that there is no difference in their fatty acid content, proteins, or even hormone levels in their milk. I’m not trying to convince you of whether or not it’s right to eat meat. Just that not every advance in science is potentially hazardous to your health.
A cloned animal is just that, a clone. It is identical to the original animal. There is no genetic engineering (not that I’m against transgenics) of any kind involved. If you would eat the original you should have no problem eating the clone. Think of the benefits of having herds of the most efficient cattle. You would have fewer animals to feed, producing more food in the long run.
I find myself wondering what problem people could have with cloned animals. People often seem so scared of technological advancement, and as far as I can tell they don’t usually have a reason. Does anyone remember irradiated meat? I do, and it was a great idea. Delivering safer products to consumers… what could go wrong? The name, apparently. People just refused to buy something that said “irradiated” on it. You don’t hear so much about it any more because it was basically a loss. But you’d be surprised how much irradiated food you eat these days without noticing it. Treating food with bacteriophages may not get off the ground at all. People find out that a bacteriophage is a virus and refuse to listen to reason. Yes it’s a virus, a bacterial virus. There has been a move to label food treated with phages in the face of public pressure. I believe this would surely doom the practice. If there’s anything that scares people more than radiation it’s viruses.
There are a lot of people on Earth. The numbers aren’t getting any smaller. We need to embrace new methods of food production. Without these applications of biotechnology more nations will suffer from mass starvation as the population continues to climb. Adopting practices like cloning animals could even help bring some nations back from the brink. People must let go of their preconceived notions and step in to the 21st century.