The BBC News reported that the offspring of a cloned cow was sold for meat.
England’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) traced two bull embryos in the UK and found they came from a cow cloned in the US. The first bull was slaughtered last July. The meat from the bull went into the “food chain” according to the FDA. But what exactly does this mean? Was it sold to a meat shop, then sold to unsuspecting consumers? Did the people who bought and ate it know what they were eating?
There are many questions not addressed by the news reports, and the situation is concerning. The UK farmer says he complied with the law — but why is it legal to sell meat from the offspring of a clone? Which laws allow such an activity, and who put them in place?
Currently, food produced from cloned animals has to be authorized and pass a safety evaluation before they are marketed in Europe.
Tim Smith, chief of UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA), told the BBC that the system in place relies on honesty from producers. “[E]very farmer, every breeder, every processor has to come clean and tell us what it is they’re actually doing. It’s impossible for us to stand by each animal and watch what happens to it throughout its life cycle.” The FSA said it had not been asked to look into the case of the meat from the cloned offspring.
For consumers, there is such an obvious element of trust involved when purchasing food, and yet a situation like the use of meat from a clone offspring presents some uncharted territory. Have all the issues been addressed for the health of consumers and for the environment?
Care2 recently reported about genetically modified plants already showing up in the wild. The world is changing due to the modifications humans are making on the genetic level. Since there are still many unknown consequences of genetic manipulation, shouldn’t researching and informing the public be a number one priority?
The same BBC article says the second bull was slaughtered in July of 2010, one year after the first, but the meat from the second was stopped from entering the food chain.
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