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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: Cheap
By Ringold on 12/30/2006 11:01:12 PM , Rating: 2
Masher, interesting article in the last issue of the Economist.

Grain production in the US has tripled since the 1960s with little to no increase in the amount of land under cultivation. Why? Increased use of chemical fertilizers.

The economic trade-off they present is pretty simple: modern agriculture can give us abundantly cheap food, or we can reject it, use "organic" crops (and they point out the hippies can scarcely agree on what 'organic' truly is in specific terms) and say good-bye to most of the worlds remaining rain forest thanks to the huge increase in the amount of arable land needed.

Rejecting modern science is ... well, hell, I don't understand hippies at all. Then again, I don't understand damned evangelicals, either. Something about the lack of logical reasoning, I think, I dont know.

RE: Cheap
By masher2 on 12/31/2006 12:12:46 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the tip; I'll check it out. I know the productivity increases since the turn of the century are truly astounding. Which explains why farming is becoming a very rare occupation...when a single farmer can grow enough food for a few thousand people, the world does't need many farmers.

RE: Cheap
By number999 on 1/3/2007 2:02:06 PM , Rating: 2
Why is "organic" considered primitive or not scientific? It could be due to a lack of funds for intensive western style agriculture or a host of other reasons.

I saw a documentary on Cuba's new green revolution and how it managed to increase production without the intensive "scientific" effort from big business that seems so natural to us by actually using nature.

Here's the gist of it.

PS. It's the green revolution not the agricultural revolution. References to the agricultural revolution historically refer to the domestication of grains and animals that happened 5000 years ago, not to the modern use of chemicals and such.

RE: Cheap
By masher2 on 1/3/2007 5:01:13 PM , Rating: 4
Are you seriously putting Cuba forth as an example of efficiency? Good god, why can people not think any more?

Cuba's "agricultural revolution" succeeded in one thing only-- preventing the nation from starvation. It has two main factors. First, their large-scale farms (small by modern standards) are extremely labor intensive. They work for one reason, and one reason only. They utilize "enforced labor". Slavery, in simple words. This is simple fact, and easily verifiable.

This still doesn't provide enough food for the country, which brings us to the second factor. Over half the people in the country supplement this by growing their own food, in tiny backyard gardens...even many of those living in Havana itself still are forced to engage in agriculture. So in addition to working long hours in their regular job, they spend their "leisure time" as part-time farmers.

This is your example of the success of organic agriculture? You cut your legs out from under you. Look, we already knew its possibly to grow food organically. It's no different than we did in centuries past. It's just far too inefficient.

Ever see the movie Gladiator? Historically, its a mess...except for the part where Maximus-- one of the Empire's most respected Generals-- ran a farm in his spare time, operated by slaves. That was the model of the times. It was imperative that everyone farmed, no matter what their position. There just wasn't any way to grow enough food otherwise. And you seriously want to return to such a system?

RE: Cheap
By number999 on 1/26/2007 7:07:12 PM , Rating: 2
Your BS runs beyond no limits as always. Don't think? You're the one who's assuming that everything gets thrown out, not me. The idea is to use what's there and the knowledge of how things work together to create sustainable farms.

You obviously didn't even read the link, which doesn't surprise me again. You preconceived prejudices puts your negative opinions and projects them so that you keep thinking I'm saying things i'm not.

As for slavery, where did you get that idea. Considering the fallout of the reduction of USSR help on the Cuban infrastructure, there would be no way that you could enslave the number of people that would make up that kind of deficit. The shortfall was made up and even exceeded by small independent farmers.

Here was a documentary that showed what they did and how they achieved it.

In it, they talk of farmers and agricultural workers making more money than professionals. Not about slavery.

Try unplugging those ears of yours and try for once to let fact create theory instead of trying to fit facts to your own theories and prejudices.

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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