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Would You Like that Medium, Rare, or Cloned?

Over the past decade, meat-eaters have had to face issues ranging from hormones and antibiotics to E. coli and mad cow disease. Now a new concern is about to land smack-dab in the middle of their dinner plates, right between … Read More

By / December 24, 2007

Over the past decade, meat-eaters have had to face issues ranging from hormones and antibiotics to E. coli and mad cow disease. Now a new concern is about to land smack-dab in the middle of their dinner plates, right between their mashed potatoes and peas. The FDA–that bastion of consumer safety, always striving to honor science over politics–is poised to begin allowing meat producers to use cloning to breed "genetically superior" cows, pigs and goats for food. Yum, yum! Specials tonight include Hello, Dolly lamb chops with a side of Monsanto Creamed Corn.

If the idea of eating a cloned animal makes you lose your appetite, no worries: You'll just check the label to make sure that your brisket is "traditional," right? Wrong.

The FDA says labels are not needed because the meat and milk pose no special risks.

Oh! Well, if the FDA says so, it must be true! What a relief. I'm starving, pass the…wait, what? You want to know whether you're eating the original or the carbon copy? Gosh, picky, picky. Well, chances are that neither cloned animals nor their offspring will be marketed as organic, so there's that.

They may be considered safe to eat, but meat and milk products from cloned animals and their offspring are unlikely to be marketed as organic.

The National Organic Standards Board, an expert advisory panel to the U.S. Agriculture Department's National Organic Program, has made it clear that organic agriculture should not allow the use of cloned animals or their offspring in the production of organic food.

The board voted in April to exclude cloned animals, their offspring, and any food products from cloned animals from the organic sector.

So at least you can head over to your local natural food store for some organic animal protein. And while the frankenfood may not be labeled, a registry of cloned animals will be kept to track them as they move into the food processing chain.

The two largest cloning companies in the United States said Wednesday that they will keep a registry of all their animals that will allow food companies to identify cloned animals when they move into the food processing chain.

Trans Ova Genetics of Sioux Center, Iowa and ViaGen Inc. of Austin, Texas announced the new supply chain management system in response to concerns from lawmakers, the food industry and consumers who are uneasy about eating cloned animals.

Bon appetit!

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