Editorial: It’s clone-a-licious!
Last week the Food and Drug Administration decreed that cloned livestock – cows, pigs and goats, but not sheep – are perfectly safe for human consumption and may be allowed into the US food supply, a conclusion based on seven years of research.
And that is fine, we guess, except for a couple of things:
For one, our faith in the FDA is somewhat shaken as of late. Last month the FDA Science Board reported that the administration, which has seen exponentially increased responsibilities in the last two decades, is overtaxed in its jurisdiction and lacks the financial and organizational strength to function properly.
Barbara J. McNeil told The New York Times: “This was the first time that a group of people got together and really looked at all the areas that the FDA has to cover. We were shocked at the scope of its responsibilities, we were shocked at how little its resources have increased, and we were surprised at the conditions those in the FDA had to work under.”
That same month the FDA issued 32 recalls, market withdrawals and safety alerts on previously approved products.
And its approval of cloned meat comes after a “long-term” study that found no adverse effects in test subjects after three-and-a-half months, which does not sound like a very long time to us.
Secondly: We do not want to eat cloned meat. And though the FDA report assures us that “edible products” from cloned cattle, pigs and goats “pose no additional food consumption risk(s) relative to corresponding products from contemporary conventional comparators,” we just don’t believe them.
The problem is that vendors will not have to differentiate between meat from clones and meat that comes from animals produced in a more natural fashion. So, as of last week, it would certainly be possible to eat cloned meat without actually knowing it, even though most suppliers say they are not ready to use clones. Yet.
And we wonder what creationists think about the whole thing.
Fortunately we live in an area with an abundance of agricultural choices and a lot of farmers who adhere to the principles of the slow food movement. Naturally raised meats, organically grown vegetables and fruits, locally produced whole grains and organic dairy products are only as far away as a short trip to the farmers market.
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