Sunday, February 18, 2007

Choosing beef with cloned meat

How about ordering your beef steak from the meat of a cloned animal? Either beacuse of ethical or religious concerns or mistrust of the meat industry, the idea of cloned meat still elicits distaste even in many confirmed carnivores.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has released a risk assessment asserting that food (including milk) from cloned cattle, swine and goats is "likely to be as safe as" that from non­cloned animals. So now it appears it is just a matter of time before we find that cloned meat has hit the super market shelves.

Scientists have succeeded in producing clones of cows, goats, and other animals—even cats and dogs—have been hailed as amazing advances in biotechnology.

The fact that the first cloned mammal, a sheep named Dolly died prematurely of a lung disease has shown that more research needs to be carried out before cloned animals will be widely as accepted as safe for human consumption, whatever the reasons for skepticism maybe.

Like in the United States, public opinion in other countries, including the European Union and Canada, is equally or even more strongly opposed to the idea of food from animal clones.

Major grocery food chains in Britain have already announced that they will refuse to sell the products. In the event that the sale of meat and milk from animal clones is actually permitted in the United States, other countries would be likely to refuse to import these products, especially in the absence of appropriate labeling.

One of the largest natural and organic grocery chains in the United States,'Whole Foods' says it will not sell meat or milk from cloned animals or their offspring.

Whole Foods believes any food derived from cloned animals should be required to be labeled as such to allow consumers to make informed decisions on the meat and milk that they buy.

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