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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 Spartan Niner on 1/2/2007 1:38:16 PM , Rating: 2
Feel free to mod me down again, but I'm going to clarify what I mean by "cheaper", as well as respond to your FUD.

Cheaper as I meant it [b]includes[/b] the "environmental" costs in reduced productivity, topsoil erosion, water pollution, etc.

Now, you say it will not be "cheaper" the old labor-intensive way - and I agree. But I'm not talking about replacing machines with humans! Most of the gains due to the agricultural revolution were due to the use of [b]machines[/b], not because of chemicals. Simple productivity gain there. What I'm saying is we use more human labor as opposed to using more chemicals, implement crop rotation again, grow polycultures, etc.

Ah masher, always resorting to the "ridiculous" and masquerading as someone with "scienctific" arguments when you resort to bringing up a Biblical plague rather than an actual event. You know why locusts will wipe that wheat field out? Because they planted a monoculture. Mix it up, alternate it, implement a four-field system, do anything else and your crop losses will be reduced if not avoided altogether. Plant several strains of wheat, not just one. Then if a disease or pest comes along they may kill one or more strains, but chances are one of the strains is resistant. Selectively breed that strain and you have a resistant crop. Artificial selection FTW.


RE: Cheap
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2007 2:00:44 PM , Rating: 3
> "Most of the gains due to the agricultural revolution were due to the use of [b]machines[/b], not because of chemicals..."

Not true. Nearly all the gains in the past 100 years have been due to either agricultural chemicals or introduction of higher-yield strains (a low-tech form of genetic engineering).

> "Cheaper as I meant it [b]includes[/b] the "environmental" costs in reduced productivity, topsoil erosion, water pollution, etc"

By any reasonable projection of those cost, modern agriculture is still by far the cheaper alternative. Now, if you want to attach a $10B charge to every dead shrimp you find in the Gulf of Mexico, you can prove anything you wish.

> "when you resort to bringing up a Biblical plague rather than an actual event"

Err, plagues of locusts are actual, documented historical events. The most recent one was in 1915 , and it stripped Palestine almost entirely bare of all forms of vegetation.

> "Mix it up, alternate it, implement a four-field system, do anything else and your crop losses will be reduced if not avoided altogether"

Anyone who thinks they can avoid insect crop losses by planting four types of wheat has never even been to a farm, much less been a farmer. You can indeed somewhat reduce the need for pesticides in such a manner, but you will still lose a large percentage of your crop if you don't use them. And, of course, this does nothing to reduce the need for modern fertilizers.

> "Selectively breed that strain and you have a resistant crop..."

Resistant is by no means immune. And a strain resistant to one species of insect is not resistant to others. There are over five BILLION species of insects in the world...many of whom will eat nearly any form of vegetable matter at all.



RE: Cheap
By Ringold on 1/3/2007 3:54:18 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, ariafrost, masquerading as someone with an economic argument. :)

Of course, failed to say why it would be better to increase the human labor cost (both in direct costs and opportunity costs as these new laborers could be doing more productive work elsewhere) and reduce the productivity of the land.

If soil can be worked year-round, and huge amounts of food can be gleaned from it, and further advances in genetic tinkering and chemical use can increase yield even more to help deal with a rapidly growing population, then why NOT do it? The environmental damage would be more severe YOUR way because MUCH more land would have to be cultivated for similar results, and about the only land left happens to be rainforest. America's former farmland now has homes and Walmarts on top of it.

The only part with vague merit was selectively breeding resistant strains.. but breeding takes time. Science wins again by making the resistant strain itself.


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