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Cloned animals - would you eat them??
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HG



Joined: 08 Apr 2005
Posts: 105
Location: London
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 05 8:51 am    Post subject: Cloned animals - would you eat them??  Reply with quote    

FT article today - the US FDA are about to declare that meat & milk from cloned animals are safe for human consumption, thus giving the thumbs up to 'commercial exploitation of cloning...'.

Apparently a 4-yr study has shown that cloned animals and their young are as safe to eat as conventionally bred animals, and that it's also acceptable from an animal welfare perspective (although it also states that cloned animals are likely to suffer birth defects/health problems when young, but after 50 days are as healthy as non-cloned).

So, they're planning to use clones more to improve breeds rather than become meat themselves...

Don't eat much meat myself, but what do others feel about this??

tawny owl



Joined: 29 Apr 2005
Posts: 563
Location: Hampshire
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 05 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think it depends more on how you feel about eating meat. If you are a meat-eater (I am), then as long as the animals are healthy and well looked after, I'm not sure it entirely matters how they're bred. However, I'm sure there will be hysterical articles implying that if you eat one of these horrible Frankenstein animals, you'll turn into some weird hybrid or something (didn't Anne McCaffrey have some story similar to that?), which is total nonsense. You don't see people walking round with carrots growing out of their heads or lettuces out of their ears, do you?

Behemoth



Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 19023
Location: Leeds
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 05 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Wouldn't eat it in the principle that I don't like the commercial pressures and 'reasons' to introduce GM in general. If it was being done free in an altruisitc wich to improve the lot of the world's subsistence farmers etc I may think differently. Agree with the post above, we eat and digest other species chemical components DNA all the time, in food safety terms I think it's a red herring.

Jonnyboy



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 23924
Location: under some rain.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 05 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I won't eat it, for a few main reasons.

Firstly, and as mentioned, the process currently involves a high failure rate, abnormal cell growth and birth defects.

Secondly, It seems unlikely that the long term effects/health implications have been studied in any huge detail. Cloning is still too young a science.

Thirdly, I don't see the point in it. Nature has a perfectly reasonable method for ensuring reproduction with it's own quality control included.

Fourthly, On principle I don't agree with animals being used as a commodity, it is another step towards industrial farming rather than one towards stewardship.

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26629
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 05 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It is very hard to think of this outside of the context of increased exploitation of animals But I suppose there is no real reason why this has to be the case, though I suppose one might wonder about long term genetic implications

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 05 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Like all new applications of all new technologies, my answer is 'depends'.

If the animal husbandry standards are good, and I'm happy with the way the science has been done (cloning isn't necessarily bad, it isn't necessarily dangerous, and it isn't necessarily contrary to my ethics) then I'll eat it. If not, I won't. I'll apply the same standards here I'd apply anywhere.

monkey1973



Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Posts: 683
Location: Bonnie scotland
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 05 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'm with jonnyboy on this. Too early to tell the possible implications so I'll stay well clear.

JB



Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 7748
Location: 91 N
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 05 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I wouldn't eat cloned animals. Not because I think there would be any health or animal welfare implications but because I wouldn't want to support, or be seen to support, what I suspect is an unnecessary practice.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 05 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Lightbulbs are unnecessary, you can get light from candles and gas mantles. And, of course, mobile phone ringtones are unnecessary (no, they REALLY are)... You see, some new developments look lilke they might be good, but they aren't, others look good and really turn out to be.

Cloning technology for the preservation of advantageous traits in many species is well established; every time you take a cutting, you're cloning. It's feasible that such technology could be very useful for increasing yields from ethically reared animals, for eliminating genetic disorders that make some breeds of animals (even older breeds) less viable or healthy, reducing costs of said practices thus lowering price or increasing profits, etc. I have no ethical problems with any of that. And providing the practice is done in such a way that I can view and evaluate the science and practices for myself, I'll make my mind up application by application, which is the rational thing to do.

monkey1973



Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Posts: 683
Location: Bonnie scotland
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 05 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

cab wrote:
Cloning technology for the preservation of advantageous traits in many species is well established; every time you take a cutting, you're cloning.


But you don't cut a cow's leg off and grow another cow. The practice is surely a good deal more complex than that and presumably involves a lot of trial and error on our part. At what point will we know we have got it spot on?

Gertie



Joined: 08 Jan 2005
Posts: 1638
Location: Yorkshire
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 05 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I totally agree with the points raised by young Johnnyboy!

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 05 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

monkey1973 wrote:

But you don't cut a cow's leg off and grow another cow.


No, you take a tissue sample and add in a set of chromosomes from an adult into a new embryonic cell, culture that for a while and add it to a parent.

Rather like taking a tissue sample from a plant, dropping the end in hormone rooting powder with fungicide, rotting that in pompost (a massively un-natural medium for growing plants) or water (even odder), and potting up before planting out. That ain't natural, you know.

Quote:

The practice is surely a good deal more complex than that and presumably involves a lot of trial and error on our part. At what point will we know we have got it spot on?


Well, it is and it isn't more complex. In essence, in terms of what's happening, it's simpler. In terms of actually doing it it's way more complex.

When will we know if we've got it spot on? Why do we have to have it spot on, and what do you mean by 'spot on' anyway? I'm not sure I agree that such a question is meaningful. Are you referring to animal welfare, safety, edibility, or what?

monkey1973



Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Posts: 683
Location: Bonnie scotland
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 05 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

cab wrote:
When will we know if we've got it spot on? Why do we have to have it spot on, and what do you mean by 'spot on' anyway? I'm not sure I agree that such a question is meaningful. Are you referring to animal welfare, safety, edibility, or what?


Clearly, I do not have an understanding of the science behind cloning and I agree that my question regarding "getting it spot on" doesn't have an answer but that's kinda why I asked it. When mucking about in this manner, at what point do we decide that it's safe, and how do we ever really know it is. We can't possibly know that, can we?

It may not be a good comparison but it was previously deemed acceptable practice to feed cows back to cows and looked where that ended up.

monkey1973



Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Posts: 683
Location: Bonnie scotland
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 05 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

cab wrote:
Rather like taking a tissue sample from a plant, dropping the end in hormone rooting powder with fungicide, rotting that in pompost (a massively un-natural medium for growing plants) or water (even odder), and potting up before planting out. That ain't natural, you know.


No aspect of cloning is natural be it with plants or mammals (at least not when we're doing the cloning).

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33978
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 05 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

cab wrote:
rotting that in pompost


Clearly the greatest and most appropriate typos you've ever made Cab, me old fellow.

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