Business Week wonders do meat and dairy products from cloned animals mean better-quality food at lower costs to consumers? There's a pro and a con argument. The pro argument is hardly convincing, and the con is only so-so. The comments are where the good stuff is. My favorite to date:
March 7, 2007 10:16 AM
My No. 1 concern is not even the health risks like smoking that could rear their heads later in life, but the safety of cloned foods from the standpoint of reducing genetic diversity, thus making animals subject to quicker spread of disease. If most of the cows are clones and a virus or bacteria develops that kills them, what happens to our food security? That is why nature allows for genetic diversity through sexual reproduction. Nature has rules for a reason.
A later commenter raises the lessons learned (or not) from the Irish potato famine. But these days, science tends to get the short shrift in favor of other concerns like corporate profit or phony marketing strategies like "best meat." Meat tastes plenty good when the cows roam around freely and eat grass, and it's disingenuous for argribusiness to blame the "27% drop in beef consumption over the last three decades" on anyone but themselves. Stuffing beef full of corn on feedlots creates sick cows. And the beef passed on to consumers can make us sick as well, between the increase in saturated fat, the decrease in "good" fats like omega-3s, and the antibiotic remnants in their systems. Cloning only complicates the unstable situation we've created for ourselves. [via Serious Eats]