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Old 01-15-2008, 11:49 AM   #11
David Gutierrez
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http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,322767,00.html

Last paragraph mentions the labeling ...
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:59 AM   #12
John Alston
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Can someone make explicit all the implicit fears hinted at in this thread? Why are people scared of (eating) cloned animals?
You know, all your apples are clones, too (unless you're eating wild ones).
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Old 01-15-2008, 01:24 PM   #13
Steven Low
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Can someone make explicit all the implicit fears hinted at in this thread? Why are people scared of (eating) cloned animals?
You know, all your apples are clones, too (unless you're eating wild ones).
I'm not sure why either. I'll eat them.

As you said and I know, most of our veges and fruits are genetically modifed already.. well, all other plants too like wheat, etc. It's just taken a little longer with the animals.
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Old 01-15-2008, 01:39 PM   #14
Scott Hanson
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Can someone make explicit all the implicit fears hinted at in this thread? Why are people scared of (eating) cloned animals?
You know, all your apples are clones, too (unless you're eating wild ones).
John,

One fear is that there is a difference between selection (natural or human-influenced) such as in selection of plant cultivars that naturally display a desirable characteristic, or even hybridizing two plants that exhibit more than one characteristic that is desirable, versus genetic engineering, in which genes that do not naturally occur in a given species, or even kingdom (e.g. plant versus animal) into an unrelated species. My own concern in eating cloned animals is that the clone is not perfect. If it were, there would be no concern since it would be effectively the same as consuming identical twin cows/pigs/chickens etc. From what I have read, cloned animals generally have a shorter longevity for reasons yet to be discovered, but appear to be related to weakened immune systems (wfs) http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...lonedmice.html. The FDA apparently studied the chemical, but not the genetic make-up of these animals in declaring them safe for consumption.

FWIW, many plants naturally reproduce by cloning themselves (aspen trees for one), and I believe that some bacteria do as well, but higher animals do not. Any biology types out there feel free to correct or elaborate, I'm an amateur only.
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Old 01-15-2008, 02:06 PM   #15
John Alston
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Scott
What you're saying is what I kind of understood it as. I think it's a "fear of the unknown."
I guess I was kind of curious to see if there are known, specific issues, or maybe examples of food safety related to these processes.
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Old 01-15-2008, 02:19 PM   #16
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My question is why do we need cloned cows? Are the normal cows not having enough sex to reproduce naturally? Do the cows have erectile disfunction?
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Old 01-15-2008, 02:52 PM   #17
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My question is why do we need cloned cows? Are the normal cows not having enough sex to reproduce naturally? Do the cows have erectile disfunction?
That last question is really funny. Cattle sex is a thing of the past already, for the most part. Almost all cattle from industrial (and probably organic/"natural" , I don't really know) sources are the product of artificial reproductive technologies. Relatively few 'ideal' bulls' sperm is harvested and shipped around. The idea is to obtain uniformity and promoting certain qualities in the cattle for quality of meat, tolerance for the way most cattle are raised now, how fast they put on weight, etc.

I guess it's hard to make a really top-notch bull and the really top-notch cows can only have so many offspring over the course of their lives. Cloning would solve that problem. According to this article, for years to come, you wouldn't likely be eating cloned meat, but rather cloned animals' offspring. Which still squicks me out.

Here's a rebuttal to the FDA's risk analysis: http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/A..._PR3_21_07.cfm
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Old 01-15-2008, 02:57 PM   #18
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My question is why do we need cloned cows? Are the normal cows not having enough sex to reproduce naturally? Do the cows have erectile disfunction?
I'm not saying we need them, but I understand that cows are bred a lot like race horses, or any other domestic animal. The prime specimens are worth a lot of money and used as breeding stock. I don't think they generally get to have sex at all. If you had a prize bull that was in high demand, you'd probably be sorely tempted financially to clone the fella so that you could continue a good thing (as a semen donor) as he declines with age. Sounds like at least initially, this would be the likely scenario. You wouldn't actually be eating a cloned animal, but the offspring of a cloned animal, because of the high cost of cloning. You might avoid any meat that sells for over $50/lb!
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Old 01-15-2008, 07:34 PM   #19
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I'd hate to be the guy who has to collect the bull's sperm...
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Old 01-16-2008, 05:37 AM   #20
Susie Rosenberg
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I'll tell you why food technologies scare me.

It has to do with unintended consequences.

Here's an example from an unrelated issue. The incidence of autism has skyrocketed over the past 20 years. The numbers are large enough now to suggest a link (not causal, just an association) with assisted reproductive technology. I know this because I am the mother of a child with autism, and yes, he was conceived with ART. Years ago, I noted with another mother that a lot of us had conceived with ART, so it doesn't surprise me to see this connection.

Another example is the use of thalidomide to treat morning sickness resulting in offspring with limb deformities. Or DES used to treat threatened abortion resulting in GYN cancers in female offspring. (Don't get me wrong, I'm a physician and certainly drugs can be life-saving and I prescribe them, but I'm a pretty conservative prescriber as they go!)

The point is, when we mess with the natural order, we can't always foresee all the consequences, since most of our science is reductionistic, and nature is very complex.

So they may find that carrots with calcium render the antioxidants useless, or that some bacteria really likes the stuff and we get sick, or some other unintended consequence. So in doing these things, we need to ask what the risk/benefit ratio is. Is the risk of an unintended consequence worth the benefit of the procedure? To my mind, a calcium fortified carrot is utterly ridiculous, given all the other sources of calcium available to omnivores.

I'm currently reading Michael Pollan's IN DEFENSE OF FOOD, and while I don't find it quite as compelling as his OMNIVORE'S DILEMMA, he makes a good point. He says that nutritionism has so focused us on macro and micronutrients that we have lost sight of food. He reminds us that food is complex beyond scientific reckoning, and as an example, lists all the antioxidants found in thyme. (There are about 2 dozen, most of which we don't know all their functions in the body, except that they bind free radicals.) Yet we use thyme because it makes food taste good.

Putting fish genes into tomatoes to make them insect resistent just spooks me. There's a difference between breeding tomatoes to make them tastier or more insect resistent by using plants who exhibit that trait and splicing genes from another species.

I'm afraid of the law of unintended consequences.

Susie
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