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Old 01-17-2008, 12:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Meat and Milk... From Clones.

Quote:
Tuesday, 15 January 2008, 20:48 GMT

The US government has given the green light to the production and marketing of foods derived from cloned animals.

After six years of study, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled that meat and milk from cloned pigs, cattle and goats and their offspring is safe.

Lack of data meant the agency could not reach a decision on sheep products.

The FDA does not expect to see a lot of products from cloned animals being sold now, because of cost. It expects clones would first be used for breeding.

The agency released almost identical draft conclusions in December 2006. Since then, new scientific information has strengthened its central view.


Just because something was created in a lab, doesn't mean we should have to eat it
Senator Barbara Mikulski
"After reviewing additional data and the public comments in the intervening year since the release of our draft documents on cloning, we conclude that meat and milk from cattle, swine, and goat clones are as safe as the food we eat every day," said Stephen Sundlof, director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

The FDA will not require food derived from cloned animals to be labelled as such.

Low confidence

The agency was criticised by activist groups and by US politicians who were not convinced that enough scientific data was available to justify a decision.

"The FDA has acted recklessly, and I am profoundly disappointed in their rush to approve cloned foods," said Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, co-sponsor of a bill amendment passed by the US Senate which asked the FDA not to rule until further research was available.

"Just because something was created in a lab, doesn't mean we should have to eat it."

Her criticisms were echoed by Andrew Kimbrell of the Center for Food Safety, a prominent US pressure group.

"The FDA's bull-headed action disregards the will of the public and the Senate and opens a literal Pandora's Box," he said.

Glass of milk. Image: PA
Observers do not anticipate a rush to market cloned milk and meat
"The FDA based their decision on an incomplete and flawed review that relies on studies supplied by cloning companies that want to force cloning technology on American consumers."

A survey in 2005 by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that two-thirds of US consumers were "uncomfortable" with animal cloning; nearly half believed food from clones would be unsafe to eat.

Some US food companies have indicated they do not plan to stock products derived from cloned animals.

But Smithfields, which claims to be the biggest producer of pigs and pork products in the country, left the door open to a change of tack, saying it would "continue to monitor further scientific research on this technology" and was committed to improving its products "through careful selective breeding and genetic research".

Breeders themselves expressed their approval.

"The biotechnology industry applauds the FDA for its comprehensive scientific review of this new assisted reproductive technology," said Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (Bio), which represents companies and institutions in the biotech field.

"Cloning... can effectively help livestock producers deliver what consumers want: high-quality, safe, abundant and nutritious foods in a consistent manner."

Delayed action

US authorities do not expect to see a wave of products derived from cloned animals on the shelves immediately.

Creating a clone is far more expensive than breeding animals conventionally. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) believes it is more likely that companies will produce clones with "desirable" traits, breed them, and bring products from the offspring into the food chain.

The USDA is asking companies not to market products immediately, but to continue observing the moratorium they agreed to in 2001 when the FDA began its deliberations.

"USDA encourages the cloning industry continue its voluntary moratorium for a sufficient period of time to prepare so that a smooth and seamless transition into the marketplace can occur," it said in a statement.

The US developments will be watched closely in Europe, where evaulation of cloned animals is at an earlier stage.

Last week the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa) initiated a public consultation on its draft guidance.

The draft concluded, among other things, that:

* foods from cloned pigs and cattle are essentially identical to those from conventionally bred animals
* animal cloning is unlikely to have environmental impacts
* there are health and welfare issues, but these are likely to diminish as technology progresses

The EU has indicated that if products from cloned animals were approved, they would have to be labelled.

This contrasts directly with the US position, opening up the possibility of trade disputes similar to the lengthy and costly row between the EU and US over genetically modified foods.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7190305.stm

Yeah... Who is okay with this. I for one am not in the least bit and this doesn't effect me in any way as I live with a vegan diet.

I don't eat animal products because of all the genetic tampering done to them, and now they just went and cut out the middle man and started making these products from cloned animals. My #1 concern is that they will not even label said products as being made from a clone. Scary thought.

If they start doing this to "organic" vegetables, I may have to stop eating and live via IV... or not be so exaggerated and just move.

If you support this than let's discuss this, I want to know if you see something I don't.
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Old 01-17-2008, 01:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, if I remember correctly, haven't they been selling cloned meat in Japan for a few years now? If it's worked for them without any kind of negative feedback, I don't see why it can't work here.
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Old 01-17-2008, 01:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I suppose I just don't see the point of cloning for agriculture because it is much more expensive than normal reproduction for agricultural production. What are the advantages that outweigh the increase in cost? Environment is a major factor in producing an animal, so perhaps cloning one with the greatest genetic potential is a good idea.. but depending upon how it is raised, there are a lot of things that can go wrong or change. There are also a lot of potential problems with clones since they, too, also have to be in utero for a full term and must be raised to a certain age before they can be slaughtered or bred to obtain milk.

I think cloning can be a good thing, especially when it comes to understanding the effects of genetics, environment, stress, etc. but I'm not sure that it's really necessary to spend that much money for agricultural products that can still be produced pretty efficiently.

I have more to say on the issue, I think, but I might need more time to frame the response.
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Old 01-17-2008, 04:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merleniau

I think cloning can be a good thing, especially when it comes to understanding the effects of genetics, environment, stress, etc. but I'm not sure that it's really necessary to spend that much money for agricultural products that can still be produced pretty efficiently.
I think it can be a good thing to, but not for eating. IMO anyways.

What are the odds of a perfect clone every single time? there has to be some kind of risk involved. I can see this working in that less "animals" will be used, but by the same token cloning and raising an animal and killing it probably giving it the same drugs you would've given a regular animal. I don't see that as much better, although I know thats not really the general consensus as I still get the "You Dont Eat Meat? WHY?????"


as for Japan, I had never read anything along those lines. I'll look it up and get back to you.
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Old 01-17-2008, 04:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 01-17-2008, 04:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It should be noted that in the short term the price of cloning is very high. It costs over $10,000 per cow. This is a lot higher than the $1000 it costs now.

The industry is more likely to use the clones to replicate good breeders (i.e. cows that display the qualities most prized: good marbling, ability to survive on a diet of corn without getting too sick, etc.).

For the near future you will likely not be eating clones but rather the offspring of clones.
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Old 01-17-2008, 05:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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What are the risks or dangers of cloning or genetically modified foods? I know very little on this subject.
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Old 01-17-2008, 05:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willravel
I know how this ends....
No, will.

It's actually a bit more like this:



EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by jorgelito
What are the risks or dangers of cloning or genetically modified foods? I know very little on this subject.
The photo above is actually possible. One of the major risks is that genetically modified flora and fauna can overtake and/or crash ecosystems by introducing new and "unnatural" problems such as new viruses (or immunity to existing ones). This can throw everything out of whack. It's basically a science experiment on the public.
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Old 01-17-2008, 05:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I see nothing wrong with it besides it being expensive. Sooner or later the population of the human race will exceed our food and cloning will be essential for our survival. As soon as the cost goes down I hope to see cloned food in the grocery store. It's a sign that humans are progressing with science and technology and I like that. It's pretty dumb to not let a technology this advanced go unused because some people don't think it's ethical. I want our race to be alive hundreds of years from now.
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Old 01-17-2008, 05:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I don't see the problem, as long as cloned foods are labelled, so that people who don't want to take the risk don't have to. I hope they won't stop investigating cloned foods, though.
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:21 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merleniau
I suppose I just don't see the point of cloning for agriculture because it is much more expensive than normal reproduction for agricultural production. What are the advantages that outweigh the increase in cost?
It's like making an investment. The clones cost a lot of money, but their offspring cost the same as any other animal's. It'll just create more animals to produce more offspring.

I don't think this will end well at all.
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inBOIL
I don't see the problem, as long as cloned foods are labelled, so that people who don't want to take the risk don't have to. I hope they won't stop investigating cloned foods, though.
This seems reasonable. Proper labeling and more research, testing and investigating.
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:08 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lasereth
I see nothing wrong with it besides it being expensive. Sooner or later the population of the human race will exceed our food and cloning will be essential for our survival. As soon as the cost goes down I hope to see cloned food in the grocery store. It's a sign that humans are progressing with science and technology and I like that.
What about social progress? Shouldn't that be the end that we use technology to get to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lasereth
It's pretty dumb to not let a technology this advanced go unused because some people don't think it's ethical.
So any technology advanced enough should be free of ethical considerations? I don't think you mean that.

To answer the thread, I don't really see the big deal with this. It's just another way to change the genetic make-up of animals and their secretions... something they're doing already without cloning. You don't have to eat them if you don't want to.
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:19 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inBOIL
I don't see the problem, as long as cloned foods are labelled.
They won't be labeled supposedly.
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:24 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Meat is meat. Can't be any worse than the chemically processed shit that you find in a supermarket. I'd eat it.
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:29 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Yea pretty much.. just because its from a clone doesn't mean it will be any different from the meat and milk we have from non-clones. In fact it will be exactly the same. There's no reason to label it for this reason.
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:49 PM   #17 (permalink)
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It isn't only what's in the product. It is the process we need to worry about.
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:17 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I saw we had a Star Wars reference, but am I the only person who's mind started flashing "Soylent Green"?

Personally, as long as it is safe, it's fine to eat.
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru
It isn't only what's in the product. It is the process we need to worry about.
What's so worrisome about the cloning process? From your previous post I gather that you take issue with creating something novel that can harm the environment. While this is a valid concern with genetic engineering (e.g. gene splicing), with cloning you're not creating a new type of organism. Cloning is just copying a creature that already came to exist through natural processes, or old husbandry techniques such as selective breeding. If the original organism doesn't pose a threat, why do its copies?
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Old 01-17-2008, 09:56 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Personally I see the "scare" aspect of this as little more than Y2K-style hysteria. Cloning isn't vastly different than normal breeding. In actual real breeding, there is STILL a chance of some serious genetic mutation occurring, right? Could this include immunity or lack thereof to a new virus? It's not any different in practice, just delivery. It also allows closer control over breeding. Farmers have bred "prize" animals since the dawn of agriculture. Now they can just turn that control knob to 11. *shrug*

As inBOIL mentions, the process isn't really an issue. These are not genetically modified animals (which the FDA still does NOT approve of, and which COULD cause serious repercussions), these are genetically CLONED animals. Not at all the same.
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Old 01-17-2008, 11:39 PM   #21 (permalink)
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There is only one major danger from this and its not your health or safety.

The procedure is safe and won't make weird scary mutants that haunt the dreams of technophobes.

The problem is that by making so much of the food base basically identical it means a single disease or parasite could wipe out all the cattle or wheat etc. One theory which I subscribe to for genetic diversity, especially in reproduction is creating new ways to stay ahead of disease and parasites.

Now what the odds of that are I don't know, but its something to consider. I personally don't know if the risk is that great at this point, the prime breeder have been so interbred that my guess is there isn't that much diversity in domesticated animals to start with.
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Old 01-18-2008, 05:38 PM   #22 (permalink)
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They've encouraged me to go "slow food" and local.
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Old 01-18-2008, 07:17 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Old 01-18-2008, 11:29 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I just don't want to buy into the corporate food structure.

I prefer to buy my food from locally owned and operated sources, if at all possible. I imagine cloned meat is unlikely to ever become a part of that scenario.
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Old 01-19-2008, 12:42 AM   #25 (permalink)
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It was bound to happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenny_Lyte
I don't know much on this subject, but if I had to guess; man playing God won't go well.
We're not playing God, as we would have to create the board-game from nothing, first.

The only thing that stood out was the we are out growing our food supply. Cloning, as of today, does nothing more but control bred traits. If you make clones (by impregnating the female), then you must feed the clones till they are large enough to make product. So the advantage is where?
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Old 01-19-2008, 07:21 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by inBOIL
I don't see the problem, as long as cloned foods are labelled, so that people who don't want to take the risk don't have to. I hope they won't stop investigating cloned foods, though.
The FDA has no authority to mandate labeling for cloned products because there is no difference between the meat and milk warranting such labeling.

The products could be voluntarily labeled... but since that only allows people to direct their hysteria, it's unlikely to happen.
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Old 01-19-2008, 09:20 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 1010011010
The FDA has no authority to mandate labeling for cloned products because there is no difference between the meat and milk warranting such labeling.
As long as diseases and viruses play a role with these food products, the FDA has a responsibility to inform the public through adequate labelling.
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:10 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
The problem is that by making so much of the food base basically identical it means a single disease or parasite could wipe out all the cattle or wheat etc. One theory which I subscribe to for genetic diversity, especially in reproduction is creating new ways to stay ahead of disease and parasites.
This is exactly what I was thinking as I read this. It would be a disaster to go fifteen years down the road and discover all the bred animals in a particular region die of the same freak disease because the original animal their predecessors were cloned from had a particular genetic flaw.
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:29 AM   #29 (permalink)
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The only reason you would need the FDA to label cloned food is if you wanted to protest it.

There is absolutely nothing more dangerous than any other cut of beef or apple.

Fear of cloned animals is about logical as being afraid of identical twins.
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:52 AM   #30 (permalink)
 
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logical or not, it will be interesting to follow the reaction among consumers (if and when it hits the store shelves) and our trading partners.

The same day that the FDA approved the marketing of cloned beef, the USDA urged a voluntary moratorium to keep it off the market.....recognizing the hard sell ahead for the government, both at home and abroad.

We export like 10% of our beef to Japan, Korea, Canada....Will there be new demands in those countries for bans on US beef imports?
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:53 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
The only reason you would need the FDA to label cloned food is if you wanted to protest it.

There is absolutely nothing more dangerous than any other cut of beef or apple.

Fear of cloned animals is about logical as being afraid of identical twins.
Sloppy or mismanaged cloning procedures have risks. Think BSE and other health risks related to meat. The public has a right to know whether their food was produced naturally or through cloning. They have a right to make their own choices based on health or ethics. Mixing animal cells isn't everyone's cup of tea.
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:54 AM   #32 (permalink)
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I used to be against genetically modified foods, and cloned animals and produce by extension. These days, I can't see myself worrying as the only significant problem I've seen is the patenting of GM foods and sterilized seeds that must be bought each growing season (while it is within the companies' rights to do it, I disagree with the practice when seeds aren't resold.)

What I see happening with cloned beef is livestock breeders identifying bulls that grow large and meaty and have strong immune systems, cloning those few bulls, mating them with several cows, then identifying the offspring that received the stronger immunity, cloning them to breed, and reducing the need for growth hormones and antibiotics over several generations. This will reduce costs for livestock farmers and reduce the amount of potentially harmful chemicals that are added to what eventually becomes our food.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Not Right Now
What are the odds of a perfect clone every single time?
I'm pretty sure that's the point of cloning.
Quote:
I still get the "You Dont Eat Meat? WHY?????"
By your position on this topic, I would guess you're a vegan because of ethical reasons rather than medical. I suspect that an individual's view of the ethics of eating meat and animal products is correlated to their views on cloned meat. If you wouldn't mind expanding on it a bit to satisfy my curiosity, I'd appreciate it.
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Old 01-19-2008, 03:05 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru
Sloppy or mismanaged cloning procedures have risks. Think BSE and other health risks related to meat. The public has a right to know whether their food was produced naturally or through cloning. They have a right to make their own choices based on health or ethics. Mixing animal cells isn't everyone's cup of tea.
Whats a sloppy cloning procedure?

DNA isn't modified.
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Old 01-19-2008, 03:08 PM   #34 (permalink)
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What's wrong with labeling? Seems very reasonable to me.
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Old 01-19-2008, 04:07 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
Whats a sloppy cloning procedure?

DNA isn't modified.
I meant the management of the animals, not the actual procedure. I should have wrote sloppy or mismanaged cloning operations. (In a business or project management sense, not a medical sense.)
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Old 01-19-2008, 05:30 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru
As long as diseases and viruses play a role with these food products, the FDA has a responsibility to inform the public through adequate labelling.
Indeed. They'll be labeled "Grade A Beef" or what-have you just like any other animal products on the market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
Whats a sloppy cloning procedure? DNA isn't modified.
In an ideal cloning procedure the DNA isn't modified. In a real procedure, especially how this is likely to be used to clone prize-winning adults to increase breeding stock, there are mutations that will have occurred in the source cells, there is potential for damage during the nuclear transfer, etc. Mitochondrial DNA will not come from the donor and may vary from clone-to-clone. Gestational environment will vary from clone-to-clone.

Some of these can be controlled, some can't. Some will become controllable with an available population of clones to use for source material and host mothers.
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Old 01-19-2008, 06:04 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru
Sloppy or mismanaged cloning procedures have risks. Think BSE and other health risks related to meat. The public has a right to know whether their food was produced naturally or through cloning. They have a right to make their own choices based on health or ethics. Mixing animal cells isn't everyone's cup of tea.
Sloppy or mismanaged husbandry procedures have risks. This is the entire reason that food production has health and safey regulations. I don't see how cloning is any different in this respect from feeding, veteranary care, or any other aspect of raising food animals.
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Old 01-19-2008, 07:23 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inBOIL
Sloppy or mismanaged husbandry procedures have risks. This is the entire reason that food production has health and safey regulations. I don't see how cloning is any different in this respect from feeding, veteranary care, or any other aspect of raising food animals.
This is what I'm referring to. Cloning can introduce new problems to this system. Read Ustwo's point about biodiversity. (Post #21.)
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Old 01-19-2008, 08:46 PM   #39 (permalink)
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My surprise is that the FDA has concluded anything on this subject. Given all the retractions that have been issued for previously A-Ok'd drugs, etc, I personally don't have any trust left in an institution that is "supposed" to protect us American's.

I feel the same way about cloned animals and their offspring as I do about the drugs that were previously deemed safe; let me know when you are absopositively sure about that!

Ali
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Old 01-19-2008, 09:03 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alicat
I feel the same way about cloned animals and their offspring as I do about the drugs that were previously deemed safe; let me know when you are absopositively sure about that!

Ali
I am absopositively superdooper extracalifragalixpy sure cloned animals are 100% safe to eat. At least as safe as any animal is to eat.

This is completely different than a drug on just about every level.
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