By Allison Balthazor
On Jan. 15 the Food and Drug Administration recognized meat and
milk from most cloned livestock as safe for humans.
The two products are safe from cloned cattle, goats and pigs;
however, there isn’t enough information on sheep yet.
The meat patties on your next double-double from In-N-Out won’t
be from a genetically altered cow, however. Cloned animals are too
expensive to slaughter.
Instead, clones will be used in breeding programs to produce
animals that will be used for human consumption. The benefit to
this program is the offspring of clones will have consistently
tender meat or high-quality milk.
Shelton Murinda, a Cal Poly animal science professor who teaches
meat science and animal applications with biotechnology, pointed
out that biotechnology has been present in the horticulture
industry for many years, without modified products being
Meat from cloned animals and their offspring is not required to
be labeled on the package.
Producers can label meat for consumption as clone-free meat,
appealing to consumers that desire to know which kind of animal
they are eating. Labeling clone-free meat would help those trying
to avoid meat from cloned offspring for moral or religious
Murinda also said cloning may be in the best interest of
consumers, pointing to an advancement in which some cattle were
genetically modified to be free of bovine spongiform
encephalopathy, commonly known as mad cow disease.
Producers will also be assisted in delivering a quality product
more reliably; for example, there’s a better chance the steak you
buy will be just as tender and flavorful as the last you had.
Some students don’t seem to mind the idea of consuming cloned
“I don’t know much about it, so I wouldn’t care if I ate it,”
said Carly Clarke, a third-year fine arts student.
Jessica Gordon, a third-year animal science student, said if it
tastes the same and has the same nutrients, she has “no problem
eating cloned meat,” but she hasn’t made up her mind because she
hasn’t had the chance to try it yet.
Another shortcoming in cloning animals is there a low success
rate of producing healthy clones. Many cloned animals are born
unhealthy and deformed, posing a challenge and raising a red flag
to animal welfare groups.
The FDA’s decision meant the United States joined Europe,
Australia and New Zealand in declaring food from cloned animals as
fit for consumption.
FDA approves cloned products
Label not required: FDA approves cloned products
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