The US's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday declared foodstuffs derived from some cloned animals safe. The FDA said: "After years of detailed study and analysis, the Food and Drug Administration has concluded that meat and milk from clones of cattle, swine, and goats, and the offspring of clones from any species …
This mania we have of trying to keep "perfect" examples of something is not going to be good in the long run. Insisting on implementing genetic traits that never were part of the species' gene pool is most likely to land us in a heap of trouble somewhere down the line.
So now we're going to have penicillin-producing, medicinal drug-dispensing lamb chops ? Somehow I have the inkling that all this perfection is going to be the death of us.
What the report actually says is that even though cloned animals are often grossly overweight and quite often sick when born, they probably don't pose a significant health risk to humans. It says that after the products have been available to the public for some time clones will be reevaluated and labeled, pulled, or re-approved as required. (Pay special attention to the probably and significant wording).
I really hate my government.
On a side note, where is the amanfrommars icon?
Just what is the problem with cloned animals?
A cloned animal is no different from a 'normally bred' animal. It is made up of the same proteins, fats, carbohydrates blah blah and requires the same nutrients and sustinance to grow as normal animals do, therefore will not taste or be any worse for you than say battery or free range versions.
on the plus side cloning allows us to prevent another Dodo scenario. It gives us the opportunity to ensure a species doesn't become extint and enable us to eat as many of that species as we like.
Erm, we're talking about clooning here, aren't we? Not genetic modification? Because it's GM which allows you to "implement genetic traits that never were part of the species' gene pool".
Cloning a sheep will not produce "penicillin-producing, medicinal drug-dispensing lamb chops". It'll just produce more plain, ordinary lamb chops.
I'm not saying that the use of cloned animals for breeding stock is a good plan, however, as it will likely reduce the genetic diversity of the breeds. Here's the scenario: a particularly big, juicy-looking bull is bred by normal means. Farmers want *their* beef herds to gain some of this big-ness and juicicity. Ergo, they all buy clones of this super-cow (Uber-milch?).
So suddenly, the next generation of each herd shares a lot of the same DNA, as each calf, in each herd, born from one of these clones effectively has the same father. Now, follow this through each generation, with the "best" bull being cloned and each herd getting one of these clones - pretty soon we have a very genetically uniform population.
Now, imagine a new bovine disease (BSM v2.0, or somesuch). In such a uniform population, all individuals will have about the same succeptibility to the disease - none will have more natural imunity/resilience than the rest. So if the disease is virulent enough, the population could be decimated, with no pockets of resistance to recover from.
A big risk to take for a juicier steak...
Anyone heard of monoculture?
I'm sure I've heard somewhere that Windows has the most infections of any operating system due to its prevalence on the desktop.
Now we're going to have a situation where every animal in a herd is an identical twin and also identical to every animal on every neighbouring farm as presumably the same traits will be beneficial to most farmers. The farmers will have to pump their animals full of vaccinations and antibiotics continually just to hold back the disease.
Lets just hope that the measures they have to go to to keep these animals alive don't result in infections in humans that are resistant to treatment. Can anyone say MRSA?
Come on guys
we're already mostly eating cloned animals and their breed, though they are cloned by embryo division and not fancy hypsy adult cloning. And that's not better for fruits or vegetables. Actually, that's even worst, as cloning is easier in that case. Your strawberries? Cloned. Cherries? Cloned. Did you wonder how they can get seedless oranges? Cloning. Your corn is cloned, and so are most of the edible products that you can get at the nearest store. So, what exactly is this fuss about?
in the long term
one can fear the wrong idea to save the diversity through DNA, which will end in a collection of licenses indeed.
I'd question "cloning" in both of these cases.
I take your point about vegetables - although growing multiple genetically-identical plants from cuttings of an original isn't really "cloning" per se.
And embryo division - if you're talking about splitting a very-early-stage embryo and implanting the two (or more depending how many times you do this) resulting embryos into surrogate mothers - at least starts with a genetically-recombinant embryo. The original embryo, at least, is created from an egg and a sperm - a new individual, a new combination of genes. What embryo division does is effectively increase the percentage of "multiple births" - although rather than twins it's more likely to be sextuplets or more, and they happen to be born from different mothers.
However, like cloning, both of these methods reduce genetic diversity and move the population towards a monoculture - which many agree is a Bad Thing. (Also, the probability of inbreeding down the line is increased, increasing the likely effects of any bad genes left in the now-impoverished pool).
at all of them
we are either getting paranoid, or are simply "promiscuous" in the name of evolution/change etc. either ways, we are anti-nature and this is completely unnacceptable.
nature has proved that it is more powerful than man, and this time as well it will prove. let the daredevildonquixotes, in the name of "survival of the fittest", have their life.
Ho yes, cloning it is indeed. Cloning being "making several individuals out of one, without change in the genome".
As for the split embryo originating from a real egg cell, I have to say that in adult cloning, the adult individual also originates from such a cell.
There's no fundamental difference there.
But I agree on the "genetic diversity" issues. The point is that we are already really, really far down this road. Without the need for adult cloning (which is a very complicated and extremely expensive technique, so bound to be limited to really specific cases... and the resulting animals are very unlikely to be used for meat).
It's actually becoming to be an issue, even for the big guys (Monsanto and the like) who were once afraid of running out of strains to carry out new hybridizations.
Actually, the danger is not SO big as most countries actually have conservatoire-like structures that breed and grow all kind of strains, to avoid loosing the diversity forever (until it reappears by the magic of random mutation, that is). All we have to pay attention to is that such conservative structures remain correctly funded. And, for the ones among you that own a bit of land, they are usually happy to spare seeds... if you want to grow bizarro-shaped blue tomatoes, go for it. Plus, they usually taste better. But you have to eat then within a few days, cause they won't stay edible for months like the cardboard-tasting stuff that you can buy at the grocery store.
Why do we sit back and take this kind of nonsense and needless meddling with the world around us? Selective breeding has already had an effect on many animals we use and consume today. Cloning is wrong, it's bad enough that some of these animals have such a low quality of life as it is, being cramped and force fed just so they can be slaughtered. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a vegetarian, but I believe that all animals, whether bred for meat or other needs should have some dignity and not suffer. Just watch some of the stuff here on UK telly about battery chickens and you'll never look at those cheap chicken breasts in the same light again..!
Cloned animals may be genetically identical but they do not have the same lifespan or resilience of the 'original'... We don't know anything about the long-term negative effects of cloning on the genome and it's irresponsible and reckless to assume otherwise!
It's bad enough when genetic abnormalities appear in the offspring of siblings, how much worse will these become if cloned animals should mate by accident years down the line?
This is all going to be about money in the end - farmers and supermarkets will want better bred livestock that will be more profitable for them in the end and to hell with the animals involved, the environment and the consumer!