Would You Eat Cloned Beef?
It sounds like the plot of a Charlton Heston film from the 70's, but the possibility of meat from cloned livestock has become a reality.
The FDA just released an extensive risk assessment whose aim is "determining whether cloning poses any health risks to the animals involved in the cloning process, and whether any hazards arise during the development of clones or their progeny that may pose food consumption risks" (you can check out the whole PDF file through the LA Times website here). The LA Times also does a good job explaining the technology of the cloning process:
Scientists frequently point out that clones are not genetic mutants but identical twins of naturally produced animals -- just born at a different time. To make a clone, scientists remove the DNA from the nucleus of a normal egg and replace it with DNA from a prized animal. A tiny electric shock induces the egg to grow into a copy of the original animal. No new genes are introduced or modified in the process.
- We recommend checking out The Ethicurean's coverage for more balanced viewpoints on the announcement.
- More information from the FDA can be found here.
- And if you just can't get enough news about advances in cloning technology, well you're in luck, because scientists in San Diego just announced that they have produced embryos that are clones of two men.