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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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What of it?
By retrospooty on 12/30/2006 10:20:29 PM , Rating: 2
The FDA simply goes with big business. Whatever pays the piper gets the laws and recomendations. This has absolutly zero to do with whether or not it is actually safe in the long run, the fact of the matter is it is unknown, and wont be know for a few dozen years at least. It takes a long term to study long term effects.

RE: What of it?
By masher2 on 12/30/2006 10:51:12 PM , Rating: 2
There are nearly one thousand different chemicals in a cup of coffee. For nearly all of them, they have never been studied, and we have no idea what their long-term effects on human health are.

Nature "bioengineers" our food on a constant basis. Every plant or animal born is genetically unique. When we consume them, or their byproducts, we're ingesting a random stew of unknown chemicals...potentially, some which have never before existed.

I'll take the safety of planned, engineered, and tested foods, over that chaotic grab-bag of unknown stuffs any day. Odds are in a century, people will find the idea of eating natural foods grown in dirt about as disgusting as we consider today the Renaissance Europeans who thought bathing was bad for your health.

RE: What of it?
By Ringold on 12/30/2006 11:10:42 PM , Rating: 2
In a century?

I already don't like to think where my food comes from. I just eat it.

On a related note..

Where does all this out-cry against modern food come from? I know it comes from hippies, but really where? What business interest or backward group is fueling the fire? If there was scientific evidence support it, or empirical evidence like hospitals filling up with sick children after they ate a "bio-engineered" apple that somehow made them sick, then I would think it'd be plain and it'd be headline-news on newspapers the world over.. but that isn't the case.

Why would stomach acid even care or notice a fruit that had just a few genes tweaked such that it was twice the size it once was?

My thinking is there is no scientific evidence to even suggest such a thing, and that our bodies don't care as it all gets reduced to its base components like sugar anyway, but I ask just in case.

RE: What of it?
By masher2 on 12/31/2006 12:19:12 AM , Rating: 2
The sad thing is that meat production puts more strain on the ecoystem than does the pollution from every car on the planet. Genetically engineered animals have the potential to reduce this, by producing more meat faster, with less food and water required. Eventually, we may be able to culture meat directly...meaning we wouldn't need to butcher animals for it, and reducing greenhouse gases far more than anything else we could possibly do.

You'd think the hippies would be all over the potential from this...but in the usual, nearsighted fashion, they don't see it.

RE: What of it?
By Topweasel on 12/31/2006 2:38:30 AM , Rating: 2
That and Cultured meat you be soft due to lack of exercise much like veal. Constant veal steak yum.....

RE: What of it?
By saechaka on 12/31/2006 3:56:54 AM , Rating: 2
here's a neat thread on priuschat where someone did some calculations on how much grain fed beef actually hurts the environment. feel free to chime in on that thread.

RE: What of it?
By saechaka on 12/31/2006 3:57:23 AM , Rating: 2
RE: What of it?
By wien on 12/31/2006 10:54:56 AM , Rating: 2
The sad thing is that meat production puts more strain on the ecoystem than does the pollution from every car on the planet.
Hmm.. I've never gotten this point. Anything coming out of a cow, would have to go into the cow at some point right? Wouldn't that mean cows have no net-contribution to the amount of methane floating around? This unlike cars that burn fossil fuels that have been in the ground for millions of years.

RE: What of it?
By masher2 on 12/31/2006 11:04:16 AM , Rating: 2
Cattle are essentially a (very inefficient) mechanism for converting grain into methane and meat. Grain goes in one end, methane out the other. And methane is over 20 times as potent a greenhouse gas as is CO2.

Finally, grain requires vast amounts of fossil fuels to produce (not just to run the farm machinery and transport it, but to produce the fertilizers required as well). So the average herd cow "burns" more oil than most people's cars.

RE: What of it?
By wien on 12/31/2006 11:18:23 AM , Rating: 2
The pollution from the way we do farming today I can understand, but wouldn't the methane produced by cows somehow get absorbed back into the system at some point? Or is the problem the damage (global warming) the gas does before that happens?

RE: What of it?
By masher2 on 12/31/2006 11:34:38 AM , Rating: 2
> "but wouldn't the methane produced by cows somehow get absorbed back into the system at some point? "

Yes it does...but then so does CO2 as well. But cattle farming produces methane faster than its rate of atmospheric decay, so the net concentration still rises.

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