Cloned Food

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Great One

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Cloned Food
« on: November 26, 2010, 11:21:27 AM »

Thought this might be worth discussion. The subject came up again over on the BBC.

Interesting point given:
"Not only does cloning have a negative impact on animal welfare, we also have no long-term evidence for the impacts on health."

My consideration: could we not use cloned food on prison inmates?

Too unethical? Worth experimenting with?

What say you?


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Re: Cloned Food
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2010, 03:47:17 PM »

I'm very against eating cloned or genetically modified food. Its unethical, even on inmates.
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Re: Cloned Food
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2010, 02:14:17 PM »

Hmmm. There are far to many many unknowns to even consider cloned meat for consumption at this point, for human or otherwise. We have no idea what implications or impact it would have futher down the line.

Many people have a misconception that cloned "meat" is or would be identical to the source and simply this is not the case.

Ethics aside it's far to expensive and inefficent to even consider it as a viable method for food consumption at present. Less than 10% of all attempts at reproductive cloning result in a viable offspring to start with.

Now consider the following points.

1) In addition to low success rates, cloned animals tend to have more compromised immune function and higher rates of infection, tumor growth, and other disorders.

This would surely lead to animal welfare issues and the increase of drug use in the food chain.

2) Many cloned animals have not lived long enough to generate good data about how clones age.

If we don't know this you can't control food quality and standards.

3) In 2002, researchers at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, reported that the genomes of cloned mice are compromised. They discovered that about 4% of genes function abnormally. The abnormalities do not arise from mutations in the genes but from changes in the normal activation or expression of certain genes.

Genetically identical? I don't think so! If gene function is compromised then the animal isn't going to be the same. And this is just in mice. Such studies have yet to be performed in animals that we would nomally considered food.

So no. It's too new a science with too many inherent problems.

Look at what happened with the BSE/Mad Cow disease fiasco. The scientists thought it was alright to feed cows with sheep carcases infected with Scrappie (or how ever it's spelt).

Just because there isn't any evidence doesn't mean it OK. That doesn't mean to say that I'm against cloning per se, it's just that we're a long way off from mass producted cloned food in my opinion.

My final statement may sound a little arogant but it's not supposed to be. I studied genetics at university so I am aware of the subject and have more knowledge of the subject than most people I've had this discusion with so far so feel free to correct me :)
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Re: Cloned Food
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2010, 02:30:14 AM »

Feel free to correct you? Like any of us would try!

Like Myd said, cloned food is kind of out of reach. We don't know how to make enough of it to even begin to call it food, nor if it would/will ever be safe. Not to mention the political/economic side of it: Who pays for funding? Who gets the rights to the process and product? (My guess is that Tyson Chicken/Etc Corp. will have a pretty big hand in rounding up any future meat-based technologies).

Now, genetically modified food... is a different story. As of now, I'm pretty sure that it's not even required to be labelled as such, at least in the States. (They do mark country of origin and organic/conventional status, but not whether it's lab-made). My family and I joke about it: "Hey, these pink tennis balls in the salad.. they're starting to make them taste a bit like they used to!" But I'm scared, especially of the animal ones, like SUPER GIGANTO SALMON OF DOOM.

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