I Like My Steak Well-Cloned, Thank You
This study has taken four years to complete, and there's been a voluntary moratorium on the sale of any meat or milk from cloned animals since 2003.
So how does this cloning process work? They remove some DNA from a very healthy and prized animal, inject it into a "hallowed-out" egg (lacking DNA), zap the egg to get the whole cell-dividing process started, and then implant it into a surrogate mommy cow. Sounds easy, right? The problem is, less than 5% of all eggs make it to actual birth. Really, you don't want that other 95% to actually make it to birth anyway, unless you like five-legged cows.
In a recent poll, more than 60% of Americans would not buy cloned beef, or milk from cloned cows. Why? The biggest reason is uncertainty. The second biggest reason is probably the creepyness factor. Doesn't it sound weird to say you're eating cloned food?
Of course the meat you're eating now probably has a bunch of hormones and stuff in it already. But we Americans love our milk and meat. Maybe you've noticed 10 year-old girls with Double D cups or 11 year-old boys with beards, but hey - we love our steakburger with a side order of hormonal-milkshake.
So the FDA is recommending that labelling these cloned products is unnecessary. They don't want the public to freak-out by seeing some label with the word "cloned" on their meat or milk jug. They want to emphasize how cloned animal stuff is indistinguishable from regular animal stuff.
The reality is, you're probably not going to find actual cloned meat on store shelves. Farmers will use the cloning process as a 21st century, high-tech husbandry method of creating superior studs. These super-bulls' offspring is what you might find in your meat section of the grocery store soon.
Personally, I would really like to know if the meat I'm buying is from a cloned Daddy. That's just me. Hey, you can market it to make it more appealing. Like "Angus Beef" or whatever. Certified-Cloned Beef. It has a nice ring to it. Or maybe they can genetically modify this cloned beef to ooze A-1 Steaksauce....mmmmm.
Apart from the whole long-term affects of human consumption of cloned animal products, my other fear is letting farmers play Dr. Frankenstein. I don't mean any disrepsect to farmers, in fact my father was a born farmer. Unless you've got a farmer that has a degree in genetics or something, do you really want to trust a farmer to mess with genetics with your food supply?
There's a huge difference between scientific genetic engineering and shoving a gloved hand into a cow's butt to make babies.
Despite these fears, the FDA did study this for four years. They studied cloned animals even at the cellular level, and I'm sure they did their homework. Sure, we could be suspicous of the timing of the release of this report - wedged between Christmas and New Year's. Yeah, the networks have been busy covering President Ford's death. Nevertheless, we should trust this government agency, as they have only our health and safety in mind. Right?