So the FDA says that cloned meat is safe and this is making big news. Well, this isn’t much of a surprise, it’s unlikely that a clone would be unsafe (it’s a clone of a naturally healthy animal!). What sucks is the media’s take on this (and the government’s complicity in them getting it wrong). Almost all the outlets take the line: Gov’t says no problems with cloned beef. What they actually said was cloned meat isn’t any different from a safety and nutrition perspective. There’s a big gap there.
For one, this is a long term mistake for the ag community. The already small gene pool for cattle (and swine) in this country is going to look like a puddle soon. What happens if the champion milk or beef producing animals turn out to be susecptable to mad cow or similar nasty diseases that we don’t always notice right away in animals? Whoops! There goes the industry! By limiting the pool we increase the chances of disease and decrease the chances of breeding better animals. A thought experiment: Take a small group of people who are the cream of the crop and only allow them to have children with each other and their children to do the same and think how it would turn out. Oh, we actually did that.
It may be safe, but it sure is stupid.
PS I haven’t seen the report yet but the FDA’s methods don’t seem too stringent. One thing they did was ‘observation’. “Gee Chuck, the cow looks fine to me, how about we go inside for another bottle of Jack Daniel’s?”. Can we get the food safety out of the FDA and into a new agency already!?