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Meat from Clone’s Offspring Sold in UK

Meat from Clone’s Offspring Sold in UK

That whole “eating meat is natural” argument just went out the window.

The UK Telegraph has reported this week that meat from the offspring of cloned cows has been sold and presumably consumed by humans.

This is the conclusion of an investigation by the Food Standards Agency that originally was looking for evidence of milk from the offspring of cloned cows. The Agency has stated definitively that no milk was ever found.

The investigation was sparked by an anonymous farmer who told the International Herald Tribune that he had sold milk from the offspring of a cloned cow. This understandably caused a contentious debate about not just the possible health risks of consuming products from cloned livestock, or the offspring thereof, but also about the ethics of cloning.

It isn’t surprising that people are easily startled by the thought of unknowingly buying products from clones, given the relative youth of the science of cloning. I’m young and Dolly was cloned in my lifetime. This is new science that we don’t fully understand.

To be fair, no evidence has shown there are health risks associated with cloned livestock — the meat that was sold was from the offspring of clones, nor from clones themselves.

Despite this, however, a poll showed that 76 percent of consumers in the UK would not knowingly buy meat or dairy from cloned cows. Is anyone surprised there is an innate distrust for something that is so obviously unnatural?

Truthfully though, is cloning really that much more unnatural than any of a dozen other things humans do to animals they raise for food? There’s very little about modern animal agriculture that would seem “natural” to your average person. Veal calves live for about fourteen weeks and spend that short time confined in a box so purposefully small, the calves cannot move. This is done because their meat is more tender and delicious if their muscles are malnourished and atrophied.

One of the animals in this investigation was in fact a veal calf.

The shock value of a story about cloned meat entering the food chain draws much needed attention to the fact that the animal agriculture industry is perverse, wholly profit-driven, and unconcerned with the lives of the animals they slaughter — or the people whose health they destroy in the process.

We can only wonder how many news stories the average consumer will have to read before he or she takes a serious look at the ways in which animal products are manufactured. Cloning is shocking, but in the end, probably doesn’t pose a serious health risk beyond those already posed by a diet heavy in animal proteins.

There has been plenty of debate about whether cloning livestock is unethical, but could anything be any more unethical than how livestock is already raised? By the time you enumerate the various horrors of the animal agriculture industry, from dehorning to debeaking, castration to branding, veal crates to rape racks, cloning seems like a moot point.

If you are horrified at the idea of eating cloned meat, perhaps you might consider whether or not you would still be eating animal products if you knew the reality of the factory farming practices that bring you the meat you’re already eating.

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75 comments

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1:36PM PDT on Sep 22, 2010

This is just wrong!

8:39PM PDT on Aug 30, 2010

Well I don't see a difference. Then again, I just choose to not eat any meat. Problem solved :)

7:36PM PDT on Aug 23, 2010

I don't really see any difference between cloned meat and regular meat. Providing it was proved to have no health risks beyond the ordinary, I think it's just fine.

9:34AM PDT on Aug 21, 2010

To Clone or not to Clone? Why would the "meat" be any different? That's what they all are in the end, just red bloody meat!
" But for the sake of some little mouthful of flesh,
We deprive a soul of the sun and the light
And that portion of life and time
It had ben born into the world to enjoy."

7:31AM PDT on Aug 21, 2010

The ethical question of cloning laways puts me off things like this. I don't think I could eat anything like this...ugh. And good grief, I thought the regulations in my own country would stop anything like this getting through? In the UK I thought it was completely illegal...

9:59PM PDT on Aug 18, 2010

Should all be Veggie, then we wouldn't gave to worry and the animals wouldn't have to suffer.

7:02AM PDT on Aug 18, 2010

It's the same as eating not cloned animals. What's the point?

3:02PM PDT on Aug 16, 2010

I am absolutely opposed to eating animals in principle, but there is no evidence (or even a reasonable scientific theory) that eating cloned meat is any more unhealthy than eating meat in general. Gwen W. nailed my viewpoint exactly!

By the way, veal confinement is already illegal in the UK.

7:50PM PDT on Aug 15, 2010

I share the exact same viewpoint as this article. Pt taken and very well said!

10:58AM PDT on Aug 15, 2010

I don't eat much meat and I don't really know what to think of cloning but I do know that the bible says God created man in His own image. Makes me think a bit. I am not highly educated in this area so I believe I should leave this to the experts.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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Colleen H. Colleen H. is an Online Campaigner with Care2 and a recent transplant to San Francisco from the East... more
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