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The recent decision by the FDA will only ignite a debate for years to come

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently made a tentative conclusion that meat and milk from some cloned animals is safe for human consumption.  The decision has paved the way for the United States to become the first nation that allows products from cloned animals to be sold in grocery stores. 

After years of numerous delays, the FDA report found that there is not much of a difference in composition of food from cloned animals compared to normal animals.  Even if the FDA's assessment is officially approved in 2007, consumers may not be able to products from cloned animals since the technology remains too costly to be widely used.

The decision on Thursday immediately drew comments from critics from across the nation.  Opponents to cloned food are aiming to throw Congressional pressure to delay the policy before it is finalized.

Consumer groups are gravely concerned over potential health issues that may arise in some of the cloned animals.  Some cloned animals may have weakened immune systems and will need more drugs to stay healthy, according to activists and critics.

Don't be surprised if you begin seeing some sort of "clone-free" labels on meat and dairy products from cloned animals.  Ben & Jerry's ice cream, for example, already mentions that its farmers do not use any sort of bovine growth hormone on its cows.  Many opponents are not necessarily against cloned food, but want to make sure consumers know exactly what they are purchasing.  The FDA found, however, that there is "no science-based reason" for having to label cloned foods.

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RE: Wonderful news
By Spartan Niner on 12/30/2006 10:04:37 PM , Rating: 5
50 years from now we may be cursing ourselves for wreaking havoc with ecosystems and planting monocultures of genetically-engineered foods. While there are many potential benefits to bioengineered foods we also have to proceed with caution due to the risks associated with playing God.

RE: Wonderful news
By ChoadNamath on 12/30/2006 10:41:37 PM , Rating: 2
It's one thing to oppose this for scientific reasons, but there's no need to throw out phrases like "playing God" that go for an emotional response. Is using fertility drugs also "playing God"?

RE: Wonderful news
By StevoLincolnite on 12/31/2006 5:28:36 AM , Rating: 3
I don't believe in Heaven nor Hell, And I certainly do not believe in a God.
The only problem that I may see is, if one of these genetically altered or engeneerd animals escapes, and then starts mating with non-altered animals.
Could disrupt part of the eco-system.
And lets face it, the Eco-System has enough issues as is.

RE: Wonderful news
By ChoadNamath on 12/31/2006 3:16:16 PM , Rating: 3
Genetic engineering isn't magic. It's not about creating things that don't exist, it's about using the most beneficial genes/traits of an animal or plant to make a better product. If a genetically altered animal "escaped" and mated with a non-altered animal, it would create another animal of the same species, not some hideous hybrid. Like another poster mentioned, it really is no different from selective breeding, it's just more efficient.

RE: Wonderful news
By masher2 on 12/30/2006 10:42:33 PM , Rating: 2
When the internal combustion engine was invented, people said the same thing. "It would be the end of civilization", they said....there was even a movement started to ban it outright, as far too dangerous for the common man.

Thank god common sense won out in the end.

RE: Wonderful news
By NullSubroutine on 12/31/2006 8:56:32 AM , Rating: 3
I agree with all but the last statement. How is selecting a breed of crop at the DNA level any different than selective breeding?

Secondly, I have held the belief that god is Santa Clause for adults.


RE: Wonderful news
By masher2 on 12/31/2006 11:00:09 AM , Rating: 2
> "How is selecting a breed of crop at the DNA level any different than selective breeding? "

Good point. During the Middle Ages, your average chicken laid one (very small) egg a week. Now they lay one large egg a day. Cows, pigs, and chickens bred for meat now produce 2-4 times the meat per animal as they once did. Back then, wheat produced at about a 3:1 seed ratio...meaning you had to waste one THIRD of your entire crop each year for planting the next year. What's the current ratio today? 50:1? 100:1? Something astronomical.

Then, a family was considered very well off if they could aford to meat once a week...many children grew to adulthood without ever eating anything but a few grain products. Their growth was usually stunted, which partially explains why the average height of a European at this time was almost one entire foot shorter than it is today. Entire nations often went to war...over food. To steal food from their neighbors, to avoid starvation. The feudal system that sounds so horrible to us today? It began to protect food supplies...a serf giving 50% of their production to a lord was far better off than one who had 100% of it stolen by a marauding gang.

Today, we grow sixty times as much food, to feed twenty times as many people more calories, with far more variety and quality. And we do it with a small fraction of the number of farmers. The reason why? Selective breeding, and agriculture chemicals are the two biggest reasons why. "Playing God", in other words.

RE: Wonderful news
By Dfere on 1/2/2007 8:13:22 AM , Rating: 2
It is a shame, though, that our discipline in eating has not changed with caloric avialability.....

RE: Wonderful news
By glennpratt on 1/2/2007 12:02:47 PM , Rating: 2
Of course it has. Some people have trouble, but we have near infinite access to food and quite a few people still manage to be healthy.

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