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  1.  (8690.1)
    The BBC has an article on how the meat of a cloned cow may be in the "UK food chain". This means that somewhere, someone might be eating the meat from a cow that's genetically identical to some other cow, and people are throwing fits about it.

    It's not Vat Meat, but somehow, cloned cows creep people out, even if the FSA and other agencies say it's totally okay to eat, because it's a fucking cow.

    Similarity, people freaked the hell out when a dairy sold milk from a cow that was the offspring of a clone.

    In the USA no one seems to give a damn about if your meat and milk comes from genetically identical cows or not, as long as the animal was healthy and it's been inspected and processed propperly. It's a fucking cow, it is made of meat, and the girls make milk.

    I think that at the end of the day, as long as the animal is healthy, and the meat and milk and whatnot were properly processed and whatnot, that bitching about someone having milk or meat from a cow that's identical to some other cow is stupid. At the end of the day, it's a fricken cow.

    So- what're your thoughts on cloned cows? Would you eat one? Would you eat the offspring of one? Would you even give a damn if 'your' hamburger was the same as someone else's? Simmilarily, would you give a damn if your steak was made from a cow that was the twin that someone else's steak came from? Is this playing god? Or in the end is it just bitching about a cow 'cause people can?
    • CommentTimeAug 5th 2010 edited
    It's not the individual cow that's the issue. From what I gather (and please correct me if I'm barking up the wrong tree here) cloned animals are typically more susceptible to illnesses and require greater amounts of antibiotics and such-like. It's this that causes more concern than the meat itself. Of course in the UK we *do* have a more fragile stance on food, with a general opinion that GM crops (and now cloned meats) are "frankenstein" foods that mess with nature and therefore should be feared.

    The Soil Association state their reasons for concern as:

    Cloning is damaging to animal welfare at all stages of the cloning process; cloned animals and their surrogate mothers suffer a variety of health problems and abnormalities. The European Food Safety Authority concluded that the health and welfare of a significant proportion of clones has been found to be adversely affected, and the European Group on Ethics concluded that, considering the current level of suffering and health problems of surrogate dams and animal clones, they could find no ethical justification for cloning animals for food.

    There are no long-term studies into the impacts of cloned foodstuffs on human health.

    Regulations intended to control the use of cloned animals are clearly inadequate, if reports that cloned milk and meat have entered the UK food chain are verified. Consumers have the right to know what they are buying and the production processes and values behind their food and drink.

    (disclaimer, I used to be a member of the Soil Association)
  2.  (8690.3)
    The health issues to the surrogate parents thing does puzzle me, as wouldn't a cow hosting the embryo of another cow be at the same level of risk as any other cow that's had implanted young, be they from a clone or the result of a fertility project? If the animal is watched over by a veterinarian throughout its life, is deemed healthy, and its meat is properly and safely processed...
    what are you afraid of?

    Either the animal is healthy, and it's safe, or it isn't and the issue isn't the animal but the veterinarians that didn't notice it was unwell, and the guys that check out the meat to make sure it's okay, who somehow also missed that.

    editing to add MOAR BBC COW DRAMA
    The FSA has admitted it does not know how many embryos from cloned animals have been imported into Britain, but stressed there was no evidence of a safety risk.

    And Hugh Pennington, emeritus professor of microbiology at the University of Aberdeen, also said meat and milk from cloned cows posed no health risks.

    He said: "It is perfectly safe. They are just the same as their parents from the genetic point of view so there's no problem there."
  3.  (8690.4)
    The FSA classes cloned meat as a 'novel food' therefore not approved for consumption hence the investigations. For me, the issue isn't really anything to do with the safety of the end product, but more about the farming industry pulling a fast one and letting these things go native so they're impossible to trace, or presented as a fait accompli. Similar issue to the GM rice one a few years back where US rice was contaminated by an unapproved GM strain and the EU told it to fuck off out of our food chain.

    For context, the UK is incredibly prickly about this sort of shit after BSE, Salmonella, Foot and Mouth etc. I'm on the FSA alerts list for work, and always snigger at the 'Oh shit, we've eaten a cow over 30 months' alerts that go out... but personally, I'm quite happy for them to be anal bastards about this.
  4.  (8690.5)
    So if its classified as a novel food, there's no safety checks?
  5.  (8690.6)
    Well, no, they would assess safety before approving it:

    From the FSA's site...

    Novel food assessments

    Under the 'Novel Foods Regulation' (Regulation (EC) No 258/97), a novel food is defined as a food that does not have a significant history of consumption within the European Union (EU) before 15 May 1997. Such foods are subject to a pre-market safety assessment before a decision is made on EU-wide authorisation.
    Cloned animals

    Foods produced from cloned animals fall under Regulation (EC) No 258/97 (the ‘Novel Foods Regulation’). This means that meat, milk or eggs from cloned animals would be subjected to a safety evaluation and approved by all European Union (EU) Member States as a novel food before they could be legally marketed.