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FDA Decides Cloned Animals Safe to Eat

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the mmmmm-frankenburger dept.

United States 323

friedo writes "After five years of research, the Food and Drug Administration has decided that meat and milk from cloned animals is safe to eat. From the article: 'The government believes meat and milk from cattle, swine and goat clones is as safe to eat as the food we eat every day, said Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine. Meat and milk from the offspring of clones is also safe, the agency concluded. Officials said they did not have enough information to decide whether food from sheep clones is safe. If food from clones is indistinguishable, FDA doesn't have the authority to require labels, Sundlof said. Companies trying to distance themselves from cloning must be careful with their wording, he added.'"

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323 comments

Duped? Cloned? (5, Funny)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406170)

which is more funny? I dunno...

Re:Duped? Cloned? (1, Redundant)

istartedi (132515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406248)

which is more funny? I dunno...

Re:Dupe? Clned? (5, Funny)

SavvyPlayer (774432) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406382)

whch is mor funny? # dunno..

Re:Dup? Klned? (0, Redundant)

the phantom (107624) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406598)

Whch smor funny? # dunnno..

Re:Dupe? Clned? (5, Interesting)

@madeus (24818) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406638)

Indeed!

First we had the geniuses who went ahead with the money saving plan "Let's feed sheep's brains to cows!" which resulted in mad cow disease [wikipedia.org] (which, when infected meat is eaten, can cause incurable and fatal neurological disease CJD [wikipedia.org] in humans). Feeding meat to cows was clearly bad and wrong in ways that don't (shouldn't) need explaining to anyone and *blammo*, well what do you know, karma bites.

OT: Interestingly, Wikipedia says that in the US testing kits for BSE are banned (and presumably only conducted by the FDA then), and states "US Sixty-five nations have full or partial restrictions on importing U.S. beef products because of concerns that U.S. testing lacks sufficient rigor. As a result, exports of U.S. beef declined from $3.8 billion in 2003, before the first mad cow was detected in the US, to $1.4 billion in 2005.". Per head of population, CJD incidents in the US seem to be lower than in Europe/UK though, as US cattle seem to be typically fed on soya (which is at least vaguely sensible, it's a plant for starters - though oddities like artificial 'fish' proteins in GM soya give some cause for concern).

If feeding sheep to cows can screw people up through contamination of the food chain, there has surely got to be some grounds for being seriously concerned about the prospect of problems that might come from consuming cloned meat (specifically if it's on a regular basis - e.g. the same clone being eaten by people all over the world every time they go to a McDonald's, one nasty defect and *blammo* (again)).

As with the BSE crisis, if/when something goes wrong, I suspect the people and companies responsible for producing the goods will not even be investigated or in any way penalised (in fact, they will probably get huge subsidies as cattle farmers in the UK did to make up for the subsequent drop in the market, even though it was their own mess and it was public money that was spent cleaning it up).

Not as big a problem as if one of the clones had a cellular mutation that ended up giving it superpowers (telekinesis, invincibility, the ability to make chocolate milk, etc.) but still, I suspect This Will Not End Well.

It could of course be a much more humane way way to produce veal, dairy cows (without having to drag calves away at birth and feed them supplements) and healthily beef cows without resorting to steroids (though I suspect the industry will keep using them), so it seems not to all bad from a consumer perspective. Ultimately, it would be great to be able to produce meat without having to produce real living animals in the first place. Transmetropolitan 'human foot on a stick' anyone? I hear it's toe licking good...

Good grief, Zonk! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17406702)

I saw this on New Zealand TV news almost a week ago! Have you been sleeping off Christmas dinner since then or what? Yeesh!

So.. (5, Interesting)

Swimport (1034164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406176)

I can't wait till they can clone meat without that unnecessary nervous system, what will those vegans say then?

Re:So.. (1)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406188)

brains are edible.

braiiiins .....

Re:So.. (3, Funny)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406210)

I can't wait till they can clone meat without that unnecessary nervous system, what will those vegans say then?

Hard to say. I still can't get one to say they're sorry for the painful, premature demise of the countless earthworms that are tilled to death so that vegans can have their Thanksgiving Tofurkey. Won't someone think of the collateral damage to the helpless invertebrates?

Re:So.. (2)

slackingme (690217) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406264)

I don't know who is funnier.. you, unable to distinguish higher orders of animal life from an earthworm, or vegans.

Either way, +5, Funny!

ROTFL SO CLEVER R U!!!!!! YODA2!!

Re:So.. (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406330)

I don't know who is funnier.. you, unable to distinguish higher orders of animal life from an earthworm, or vegans.

Wait! You left off another option: you, for not digesting a little satirical rhetoric. Funny! That's OK. The truth is, the people that are the most fun to make fun of are the ones that actually do lump the earthworms in with the cuter, fuzzier things. But I'll bet they'll still swat a mosquito that's sucking blood out of their forehead, depsite the horrific violence involved. I mean, they only eat a little bit of you.

Re:So.. (5, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406366)

I don't know who is funnier.. you, unable to distinguish higher orders of animal life from an earthworm

      Who made YOU God, that you can sit in judgment over our poor earthworms so? Where I come from, earthworms are what recycle all that vegetable matter back into the food chain. Without them, you wouldn't exist. Who is the higher life form NOW, Mr. Smarty-pants?

      Remember, your worm is your friend!

Re:So.. (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406644)

Actually it you. Since you can't distinguish the see that the parent is intentionally using vegan logic to point out the ridiculousness of the 'moral vegan'. And that you don't see that the parent obviously DOES distinguish between higher an lower forms of life.

Re:So.. (2, Funny)

Evanisincontrol (830057) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406282)

Especially because earthworms have ten hearts [wikipedia.org] each. It's like killing ten beings per worm, those dirty vegan scum.

Anyone remember chicken little? (1)

spineboy (22918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406360)

in a spaceship as a source of meat - a big cancerous lump of it that continuously regrew as a source of food.

Re:Anyone remember chicken little? (1)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406616)

not a spaceship; it was in the basement of some megaplantation in central america. the space merchants was a good book.

Re:Anyone remember chicken little? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17406680)

Actually, check out the book 'Illegal Alien'. ALiens come to earth, and one of the things they have onboard their ship is a snake-like mass of... meat. It is alive, and grows, but it's pretty much nothing but meat. They slice off a piece whenever they want.

Re:So.. (1)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406596)

Unless the Vegan could care less about animal welfare, and instead is concerned with the female hormones in milk, or the antibiotics in meat, and that 10 times as much food can be produced on an acre of land from plants than meat... not to mention the fact that overconsumption of meat is leading to epidemic levels of heart disease and obesity.

In fact, those earthworms are probably more healthy for you to eat than a steak (or tofurky for that matter).

Re:So.. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17406274)

That would be genetic engineering [wikipedia.org] , not cloning [wikipedia.org] .

Re:So.. (1)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406514)

it's still gross.

Re:So.. (1)

12ahead (586157) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406516)

Those vegans will probably say "so what"? Why do 'those' meat eaters think that we are missing out on something? There is a wide [robinrobertson.com] variety [wisdom-books.com] of [bryannaclarkgrogan.com] food [word-power.co.uk] available [safeshopper.com] . Seriously. We are fine. We eat heaps. We have banquets. We stuff ourselves. And most of us are really really healthy as a result of not eating animal products. Vegan lions on Futurama don't prove the contrary by the way.

Re:So.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17406554)

You're being overly defensive. A commonly-cited reason for becoming vegan is the apparent suffering of animals. If we remove the nervous system, eating animals would appear to be, in this regard, ethically very similar to eating plants. Now, if you just prefer the taste, or you have an entirely separate reason (anti-GMO, or perhaps religious reasons) then your statement to that effect is the answer that he was looking for. If other ethical vegans will yield that eating such meat is ethical, then, well, that's even moreso the answer he was looking for.

Re:So.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17406722)

I'm guessing a number of those vegans would welcome the idea that meat could be grown and harvested without the slaughter of sentient beings.

Re:So.. (1)

qbwiz (87077) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406748)

So, no more human burgers? What a pity.

Iron Clad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17406196)

" From the article: 'The government believes meat and milk from cattle, swine and goat clones is as safe to eat as the food we eat every day, said Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine. Meat and milk from the offspring of clones is also safe, the agency concluded."

I seem to remember seeing on the news that this wasn't a forgone conclusion within the agency.

Isn't uh.. (4, Insightful)

joshetc (955226) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406198)

Well isn't it kind of obvious? I mean.. if the original is safe to eat and the clone isn't, doesn't that make it not a clone?

I also wonder if there is much of a benefit to cloning meat anyway. I'm by no means an expert on clones but don't they take just as long as the "real thing" to reach maturity? I suppose they could only clone high quality animals for the best hauls of meat.. maybe I answered my own question. Any other ideas would be pretty cool though :D

Re:Isn't uh.. (5, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406246)

I suppose they could only clone high quality animals for the best hauls of meat.. maybe I answered my own question.

In practice, no one is talking about cloning (for example) cattle for meat. The whole point here is to clone the bulls that are shown to produce offspring that, in turn, happen to make really good steaks (or lattes, etc). A prize bull is worth a fortune as a breeding stud. A clone of him is worth spending a fortune on, since he can go forth and make more of what's been working so well for the rancher. Breeding programs are lifelong, and even multi-(human)-generational activities. When you strike genetic gold, it's great to be able to preserve it.

Hanover Starbuck, a prime example (1)

Keith Duhaime (139896) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406686)

This is precisely the relevance. An excellent example is Hanover Hill Starbuck, possibly the world's most famous Holstein bull. The Centre d'Insemination Artificielle du Quebec (CIAQ) worked with University of Montreal researchers back around 2000 to produce a clone precisely for this purpose. The original had died in the late 90s after siring over 200,000 offspring.

I can't wait until they apply this to the beef industry. It's a bit of a shot in the dark right now over producing tender steaks. Basically we don't know what we have until it is hanging on a hook and then it was castrated as a calf. It will take a few years yet, but with cloning, we can recreate that animal as a bull and finally have tender beef all the time.

Re:Isn't uh.. (4, Interesting)

joshv (13017) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406296)

The idea is to replicate a particularly desireable trait without the constraint inposed by traditional breeding. Currently your best bet at that is to breed the desired animal with another high quality animal, and hope the trait is not lost. With cloning you can create a larger breeding pool of animals all with the same desireable trait. This dramatically increases your chances of creating a strain in which the desired trait breeds true.

I don't think the point is to create an entire herd of clones. That will be prohibitively expensive for the forseeable future and would have some severe implication for disease resistance. But if Bessy produces 10% more milk than any of your other cows, and only 25% of her offspring have that trait, it's going to take you awhile to produce a herd with this trait. Wouldn't it be nice to have two or three clones of Bessys?

Problem is... (2, Informative)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406730)

...cloning currently isn't. The animal is NOT an exact copy, as they do NOT use both the nucleic DNA and mitochondrial DNA, the DNA is frequently so damaged in the transfer that only a tiny fraction of the "clones" are viable - of those that survive long enough to be born, the vast majority die within a matter of days. And even those that do survive suffer accelerated aging and other known conditions relating to genetic illnesses.


If cloning was anywhere near the point of producing a genetically stable animal, this might be a fair ruling. The fact is, cloning introduces measureable defects. Most of those defects will impact the animal's health, rather than the safety of the meat. Some, and there's currently no way to know how many, will produce meat that is hazardous to humans. If geneticists aren't even sure why such defects exist at all, then you cannot ask them to quantify how many would be hazardous. How on earth could they possibly know?


Cloning might well be safe, once more of the variables have been quantified and the techniques refined to the point of being reliable. Once we are at that point, if the science showed that the risks to human health were comparable to the risks from non-cloned animals, the FDA would have a case. As it stands, this is a political decision that has zero credibility and should be reversed. You shouldn't try to run before you can crawl. (Walk? Stand up? We're nowhere close to those points.) The fact that labelling is to not require any mention of cloning is proof of that. If the market cannot overcome the objections of consumers except by lying to them, then the market has no goddamn business selling the time of day, never mind products where safety is critical.


(Personally, I'd prefer looser rules on what can be sold, tied to clearer markings on what is being sold. By play-pretending rigorous standards that really don't exist, and denying the information required to obtain any quantification of that risk, the consumer relies entirely on absolute trust in the divine wisdom of the FDA theocracy. Yes, it is a theocracy - it is driven entirely by faith, not facts from the ground or accountability from those affected. The FDA's methods are dubious - they were recently questioned with regards performing illegal human experiments on Africans - and their underlying principle seems to be one of worshipping themselves as Gods. The entire department should be closed as a hazard to human health.)

And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17406204)

I'm more concerned with the animal's diet and lifestyle.
www.themeatrix.com

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17406290)

I'm more concerned with the animal's diet and lifestyle.

      Why? The cow sure isn't. Optimum growth means just that - lifestyle and diet adjusted for maximum profitability. The cows' happiness is not a factor. How happy would you be if you knew your life consisted in fattening up to feed another species? Fortunately, cows aren't concerned with these deep and philosophical questions. They are content to live in the here and now, until a bolt is shoved into their brains. That's when they finally begin the journey to become useful to humanity.

Shocking (2, Insightful)

qbwiz (87077) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406212)

It's amazing! Cloned meat is just as healthy for you to eat as meat from the adult that had been cloned. Wow.

Tastes like chicken (1)

Konster (252488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406214)

Would cloned humans taste any better than people do now?

Re:Tastes like chicken (1)

cmeans (81143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406262)

Two cannibals, are sitting around a fire, eating a clown. One cannibal asks the other, "Does this taste funny to you?".

Re:Tastes like chicken (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406646)

Well, that is kind of interesting. Is it moral to eat cloned human flesh? If the human was cloned and kept free from disease, then (perhaps) it would be OK to eat. It is fairly likely that our repulsion to eating other humans stems from natural selection and the risk of contracting disease from other humans. Although, this raises other issues like "is it moral to clone a human being and then keep them in a cage and sterile environment." One could argue (although I'd disagree) that the cloned human is not really a human, but a human creation--therefore we could farm them. If that were the case, then it'd be OK to eat them as well. I'm not sure if it'd be a requirement that the meat be labelled (probably it would). However, how is it OK to develop other kinds of meat and not require labelling and not OK to label human meat as cloned? I would like to be given the CHOICE whether I eat meat from a cloned animal (either directly or from its offspring)... or not.

Diseases (4, Insightful)

robvangelder (472838) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406234)

Imagine a single cow that has favorable qualities for cloning - grows faster, has better meat yield.

Imagine that cow also has a hereditary problem that, when eaten, causes health problems in humans.

The cow by itself would affect a very small portion of the population.
Cloned, and undetected, it will affect many many more people.

This scares me a lot.

Re:Diseases (1)

joshier (957448) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406300)

Don't eat meat then.

Make sure the cow's not nearsighted. That's fatal (5, Insightful)

Fullhazard (985772) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406312)

What 'hereditary health problem that is harmful to humans'. I defy you to name a single hereditary, undetectable health problem in cattle that is the slightest bit dangerous. Wait! Wouldn't a defect that hurts humans also hurt/kill the cow? Because we have very similar biologies?

Re:Make sure the cow's not nearsighted. That's fat (5, Insightful)

robably (1044462) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406394)

I defy you to name a single hereditary, undetectable health problem in cattle that is the slightest bit dangerous.
The disease itself doesn't have to be hereditable - the cows could simply have an undetectable hereditary increased susceptibility to, say, BSE. Naturally, the progress of a disease is halting, but when the entire population it is spreading through is uniformly "easy prey", all the cows could become infected very quickly indeed. We could all have eaten infected meat before the disease makes itself apparent in the cattle.

Re:Diseases (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406324)

Imagine that cow also has a hereditary problem that, when eaten, causes health problems in humans.

      Name that hereditary problem please. Oh look, it doesn't exist! And BSE (Mad Cow Disease) is NOT hereditary.

      You might as well say "Imagine a cow that can spontaneously grow laser beams on its head and attack humanity. Now imagine if we clone that cow - they will wipe us out!"

Re:Diseases (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406374)

Fud in the air?

I don't see cloned meat as any sort of revolution for the industry let alone as anything necessary at all but....

1) Aside from prions, is there any disease that cooking doesn't take care of?
2) Is there any hereditary disease known to pass from species from species?

The former might just be a failure of imagination on my part but if anything does happen, well, that's gonna suck for whoever is the consumer of that (I got hippie eating habits so you know moss, lichens.... organic, locally grown/raise vegetables and various edible furry creatures).

As for the latter, in the new Scientific American, they talk about a infectious cancer that spreads through dogs. It actually passes from dog to dog like a viral or bacterial disease. It doesn't start in that dog, and it is quite old. So it's not really a hereditary disease (unless you count the lack of resistance) and doesn't jump from species to species (though breed to breed seems to have been implied).

Re:Diseases (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406384)

Imagine that cow also has a hereditary problem that, when eaten, causes health problems in humans.

Like cows who inherited genes that make them store energy in the form of saturated fat?

Re:Diseases (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406632)

Like cows who inherited genes that make them store energy in the form of saturated fat?

You mean like every single cow that has ever lived on earth? Go ahead and throw in pigs, goats, peanuts, coconuts, palm and even humans that also naturally produce saturated fat, cloned or not.

Now if we could find a cow that would store energy in hydrogenated fat... then we'd be on to something!

Re:Diseases (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17406492)

You know what mister glass is half empty. I'm not going to worry about the rest of society while I have a feast of USDA Choice Prime Rib in front of me at less then $0.01/lb that needs eating.

Re:Diseases (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17406500)

"Imagine that cow also has a hereditary problem that, when eaten, causes health problems in humans."

I would be terrified. You could end up with an entire race of cows that cause high cholesterol levels, heart disease, or obesity. Man, that would suck.

Re:Diseases (4, Insightful)

terrymr (316118) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406504)

Eating cloned meat doesn't bother me. A bigger concern is maintaining genetic diversity in the herd, without it a disease may come along which wipes them all out.

Re:Diseases (1)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406678)

Imagine that cow also has a hereditary problem that, when eaten, causes health problems in humans.

The cow by itself would affect a very small portion of the population.
Cloned, and undetected, it will affect many many more people.

This scares me a lot.
How about you imagine that research into cloning has possibly deterred us from detecting an asteroid that could kill so many people as to make the current world famines seem like a minor annoyances.

Some people would _claim_ to shy away from picking up a hundred dollar bill for fear of hurting their back. In reality, they are just spouting nonsense because they have nothing to add. How this crap gets marked insightful, is more frightening than the premise.

Re:Diseases (1)

tom's a-cold (253195) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406682)

Cloned, and undetected, it will affect many many more people.
I think that the real problem is that cloning makes it easier to reduce population diversity. Monoculture is a disaster waiting to happen, and the short-term business interest in uniformity needs to be balanced by forces ensuring that variability is maintained in populations. It's not just what a bad choice of what to clone will do to whoever consumes the meat. It's also the risk of a disease taking down the whole population of cloned individuals. And they could very well incubate something that will kill us too, and if they do get ill, the industrial agriculture bozos will handle it be loading them up with antibiotics, so the bugs will be resistant when they get to us.

The underlying problem is this inane notion that Henry Ford-style mass production is appropriate for food. Industrial agriculture is trying to move in this direction at the same time that consumer-goods manufacturing is trying to achieve greater diversity and higher customization.

In the form of a question (4, Funny)

gooman (709147) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406236)

Deja Moo?

The feeling you've eaten this steak before.

What I don't get... (3, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406242)

...is why this is even an issue.

A clone is an identical twin. The cow/sheep/dog/cat is still a cow/sheep/dog/cat, whether twinned or cloned.

The only difference is the method, with some methods being more successful at creating viable embryos than others.

An human grown from an in-vitro fertilized egg is no less human, is he/she?
A twinned human is no less human, is he/she?
A cloned human is no less human, is he/she?

The only stupidity surrounding this stems from bad science-fiction. George Lucas Must Die (hey, that sounds like a good schlock movie title)

If anyone disputes the above, I will have to ask you to step outside.

--
BMO

Re:What I don't get... (3, Insightful)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406286)

It's an issue because the general populous isn't as smart as the average slashdotter. That's why stuff like this takes years to get through the FDA precisely because they want as much information to give to people saying that it's safe, no matter how seemingly obvious.

Re:What I don't get... (2, Funny)

wasted (94866) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406368)

It's an issue because the general populous isn't as smart as the average slashdotter.

While I don't disagree, just thinking about that really worries me. And now it will be in the back of my mind as I read posts, worrying me even more in many cases.

Re:What I don't get... (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406734)

"While I don't disagree, just thinking about that really worries me. And now it will be in the back of my mind as I read posts, worrying me even more in many cases."

Well, you should be worried.

The last time that people thought other people were "less than human" we had a world war.

--
BMO

Re:What I don't get... (1)

Tribbin (565963) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406318)

"A cloned human is no less human, is he/she?"

So if you clone, you create a soul? Is it a re-incarnation or a fresh new soul?

How do -for instance- Christians think about this subject?

b.t.w. I'm a convinced atheist but I'd like to see 'believing-there-is-something people' bum-turn around these issues and I'm open for suggestions.

Re:What I don't get... (1)

ksalter (1009029) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406352)

As long as they keep human clones illegal, they won't have to answer that question...

Re:What I don't get... (1)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406538)

as long as clones are outlawed, only outlaws will clone...

Re:What I don't get... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406402)

I'm having trouble reconciling the following:

A. I'm a convinced atheist

with

B. So if you clone, you create a soul

      As an atheist myself, I have to ask - are you trolling, or what?

Re:What I don't get... (1)

niin (1013329) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406488)

It's cool to take things out of context, including taking off punctuation, in order to make a non-point. But, of course, I expect too much in reading comprehension when it comes to the internet.

Re:What I don't get... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17406556)

While not a Christian, I would assume Christians would say God creates life and gives souls to the body. It would be a unique and individual soul to each cloned body. Christianity doesn't believe in re-incarnation. Religions that believe in re-incarnation wouldn't have multiple bodies with the same soul since it's not about one soul-one body, but the soul being reborn in a new body after the old body dies.

(Disclaimer: May not apply to all Christians)If you're friends with a real Christian (not a "I was raised Christian"), ask them where they think you will be going when you die. It's kinda an eye opener when your friend says that you're a good friend, but sorry you're going to burn in Hell.

Re:What I don't get... (1)

wasted (94866) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406564)

A cloned human is no less human, is he/she?


So if you clone, you create a soul?


I am not a Bible scholar or philosopher, but I don't think Christians believe they create a soul. I think that the belief is that the soul is added when life begins. The "when life begins" part is the area where the pro-life and pro-choice people disagree.

Is it a re-incarnation or a fresh new soul?


Since identical twins do not share one soul (as far as I know), I don't think a clone would have a non-unique soul.

Again, I am not a philosopher or Biblical scholar, so there is a possibility I have something wrong.

Re:What I don't get... (2, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406332)

A clone is an identical twin. The cow/sheep/dog/cat is still a cow/sheep/dog/cat, whether twinned or cloned.

The only difference is the method, with some methods being more successful at creating viable embryos than others.
You seem to be confusing two things:
1. Genetics - yes, clones are exactly the same
2. Environment - no, cloned embryos are not raised in the exact same environment... therefore you get differences.

Cloned embryos experience different environments in the womb, which means you can end up with genetically identical animals ehibiting different coloration, behavior, etc.

Re:What I don't get... (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406586)

You seem to be reading more into what I've written than what I wrote. :-P

The differences are not genetic differences. Please note that I can tell the difference between a "Jessica and Andrea" a pair of identical twins that I know, and I have not stated that identical twins are identical in every way.

Jessica is an amateur boxer.
Andrea is the quiet one.

Both are exceedingly pretty.

--
BMO

Re:What I don't get... (2, Informative)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406344)

A clone is an identical twin.

That's the theory. In practice, they weren't really sure how exact the cloning process duplicated the original genetics. That's the issue -- there may have been some DNA damage in the process that caused some weird interactions.

We apparently got the expected result, but it's definitely not something that should be taken for granted.

Re:What I don't get... (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406418)

What about parasites and diseases adapting to a large population of (genetically) identical clones? Even if the cloning were the same as what occurs when you have identical twins, the latter process never produces that many. I think that many plants are cloned in this way, so that would be a good place to look at how parasites and diseases have responded to a genetic monoculture.

Re:What I don't get... (1)

hobo sapiens (893427) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406438)

or to add to that...since when is it cheaper to clone and animal for food than to just raise one?

Re:What I don't get... (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406440)

Because health problems roll over from the clone to the new born.

Lets say the cow has some sympton of old age, this will roll over onto the new born animal as well. They clone the current state and put it in the form of an old state, so all the cell degeneration from 10+ years of living (example) is now present in a 1 day old animal.

These cells won't be repaired and infact will just get worse, so clone 1 maybe fine for a few years, but as it gets older it will be twice the "age" in body than it should be in time. This would lead to a major increase in cancer (bad cells = easy cancer) and would also be very cruel on any clones born for exactly the same reason.

Would you clone a 50 year old man without thinking how a 10 year old boy's body will deal with having 60 year old health problems/damage?

I don't think clones are "any less human", infact I think they will be quite human except aged differently. My issue is with us playing with cloning on things and then going "Well fuck me, we've just completely fucked up" 10 years later when they find out Cow #2947492 was infact carrying an extremely rare defect which can be passed onto humans and thanks to cloning 10,000 people have this defect.

Remember natural things are very difficult to balance and when we mess with them we tend to muck them up. Messing with the very essence of life (birth) is really really asking for trouble. I don't believe there is some hidden Soul or deity going to punish us for it, but I think having people around with defective bodies is unfair on the people and could present problems for future breeding.

Re:What I don't get... (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406642)

That's all well and good, but the subject is whether meat and milk from cloned animals is safe to eat.

Bananas are basically all clones of each other. I don't see people abstaining from bananas.

""Well fuck me, we've just completely fucked up" 10 years later when they find out Cow #2947492 was infact carrying an extremely rare defect which can be passed onto humans and thanks to cloning 10,000 people have this defect."

Well, fuck me for asking, but how does cow-DNA wind up in human-DNA through a steak or glass of milk?

You're creating bad science fiction, here. Please contact George Lucas for a movie deal.

--
BMO

Re:What I don't get... (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406524)

A clone is an identical twin. The cow/sheep/dog/cat is still a cow/sheep/dog/cat, whether twinned or cloned.

It isn't anywhere near as simple as that. [telegraph.co.uk]

Re:What I don't get... (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406694)

"It isn't anywhere near as simple as that."

The solution would be to have a library of embryos and clone the embryos directly instead of waiting for them to grow up and clone from the grown-up sheep/cow/etc.

--
BMO

DNA methylation is different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17406562)

In twins the parent DNA lines came from a sperm and egg that when combined goes through a process where the DNA is demethylated and remethylated. This determines the parental imprinting for which version of a particular gene will get expressed: Mom's or dad's.

Nuclear transfer clones don't go through this sexual process and their DNA methylation states are found to be "different." It is speculated that the extra-large offspring from some of this cloning comes from over-expression of parental genes. Methylation is also implicated in embryonic development and cell differentiation. There may be other things in the sexual process that cloning fails to reproduce.

I'm all for cloning food, but clones are not completely the same. There could be important differences.

Re:What I don't get... (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406664)

Cloned humans may be different to "normal" humans. They'd be stigmatised for a start.

Re:What I don't get... (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406672)

I brought up the same comment when discussing stem cells. The argument I got back was that stem cells were originally produced in labs that worked mostly with mice, so there is a probability that the genetic material was contaminated with genetic material from mice. So evidently, it's OK to eat cloned material, but not do research with.

I wonder if they cloned cattle in labs that worked with pigs. Could we then get true HAM-burgers?

Damned if that's not some faint praise. (2, Insightful)

cno3 (197688) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406254)

From the article: 'The government believes meat and milk from cattle, swine and goat clones is as safe to eat as the food we eat every day, said Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine.

So, is that the 'every day' beef with the dioxins in it, the tacos with the e. coli, or the mad cow patties?

Great (0)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406260)

Meat and poultry will now have no variance at all. Not that it affects me. I've adopted my mom's hippie ways and regularly pay a little extra for organic, local food products.

Re:Great (4, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406294)

I've adopted my mom's hippie ways and regularly pay a little extra for organic, local food products.

And if your nice, long-haired organic-minded local farmer happens, after decades of work, to produce a bull that happens to routinely produce offspring that are efficient eaters, have strong immune systems, etc., you can bet that he'd be very happy to lengthen that bull's career by hatching out a couple of twin brothers to share the work. Cloning a stellar animal so that you can produce more later has nothing, whatsoever, to do with how organically (or not) you feed, keep, and eventually render the meat.

Re:Great (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406414)

I do just like you do, but in this case I still would like my meat products labeled. Who knows, future technology could link diseases of the time to cloned meat or beef of today.

Re:Great (1)

AxiomOfExtensionalit (876142) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406450)

"Meat and poultry will now have no variance at all."

Well yeah, if you cook it the same way every time.

Re:Great (1)

Jordan Catalano (915885) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406494)

Comeon - this is Slashdot. Is it too much to ask for this audience, one of higher-than-average intellect, to recognize that this "organic" food label is completely retarded? Really, why put up with this hijacking of a scientific term? No one I know is eating primarily inorganic food. And don't even let me NEAR the next guy to call cocaine a "narcotic"...

Re:Great (1)

Babillon (928171) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406506)

Right... Except for the fact that when cloning the animal the environment it's raised in still has an effect on it. We can't make a 100% copy of something. Maybe when we start raising sheep in vacuums and cloning them in vacuums...

Creepy.

Re:Great (4, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406532)

"Meat and poultry will now have no variance at all. "

Ordinary "animal husbandry" has been going in that direction for decades (centuries? millennia?).

Given the choice, I'm sure the owner of the Springbank Snow Countess [roadsideattractions.ca] would have cloned her. Cloning is a shortcut.

What cloning *doesn't* do is introduce randomness. This can be a bad thing, because suppose Holsteins of the Springbank Snow Countess line were found to be vulnerable to a certain virus that targets the line, the only recourse would be to begin regular breeding again, but by that time, many other lines may have already died out through simple neglect.

An example is the Banana Crisis. The bananas you get in the supermarket are clones, every last one of them, though not in the bad science-fiction movie sense. But since every banana plant is reproduced asexually from a distinct line, diseases like Panama disease can run through entire populations, devastating farms and ultimately ending lines like the Gros Michel as a viable plant for which the Cavendish has been a suitable replacement.

Though, there isn't much of a replacement for the Cavendish at last check, except the FHIA-17, which tastes different (and both taste different than the Gros Michel).

There's nothing wrong with cloning for the end user/customer, but cloning sets up for some interesting economic effects should disease strike.

--
BMO

Indistinguishable... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17406272)

I don't like the way they used indistinguisable here. I'm not sure, but I was under the impression current clonning technology left us with gimped out calfs.

Isn't it the case that all cloned animal have a shortened life-span? Although genetically the same, I don't think clones are the same developmentally. I think there are some really horrible congenital defects that happen during cloning.

I think this indistinguishable bit might be BS. Also, I would like to have a label stating "cloned meat". Many people refuse to buy knock off Rolexes, even though they can be indistinguishable from the original. It's a matter of principal to some.

So what are the arguments against? (2, Interesting)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406278)

I can't say I like all the tampering science does to our food supply. It's too easy for stuff to get approved and too hard for it it get banned after approval (e.g. Sodium Nitrate). But what are arguments against this? The only real problem I see is the whole patent mess.

Re:So what are the arguments against? (1)

Servo (9177) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406358)

What I could see happening is the patenting and cloning of prize livestock, creating some legal issues with re-distribution rights, etc etc. i.e. I can't sell the offspring of my copy of Bessy because only the patent holder has the ability to do that. Then all the early adopters are locked in to buying the same clones over and over to resupply their herds.

Slashdot Mourns (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17406298)

One of your heros is dead. No more little girls will be raped by saddam.

Let the marketplace decide (3, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406378)

By 2008, you'll have 3 kinds of beef:

1. Certified cloned beef
2. Certified non-cloned beef
3. no-label beef - like a hot dog, you don't know what's in it.

Most people won't care but some people will pay extra to get that mmm-good taste of non-cloned beef and others will pay extra-extra to get that mmm-mmm-good-good taste only cloning provides.

Even if category #1 doesn't show up on supermarket shelves, the "green" beefeaters who fear clones will create a market for category #2.

Deja Food (1)

AndreyF (701606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406388)

In the news today, the FDA is poised to approve food from cloned animals. Apparently eating clones makes some people uncomfortable. Their thinking goes like this:

"I sure enjoy eating Bob the cow, but I wouldn't feel comfortable eating Bob the other cow."

Eating clones got me thinking about the intellectual property of human supermodel DNA. At some point it seems inevitable that billionaires will start cloning supermodels so they can grow their own girlfriends. Someday it will surely be legal in some country.

If you were a supermodel who had snorted away all of your money and you were now too old to model, and some billionaire offered you a hundred million dollars for your DNA, would you sell it? Assume you know in advance that the billionaire is a disgusting pig who will be raising your clone to be a brainwashed sex slave.

Assume also that your clone won't be forced to do anything against her will. She will simply be raised to believe the billionaire is a godlike creature and the rest will happen naturally. No laws will be broken. And she will live like a princess except for the part about being a clone whore to an old, rich fat guy. In other words, the quality of her life will be in the top 10% of the planet if you consider the wretchedness the average human's life around the world.

Would you sell your DNA for $100,000,000?

From the Dilber blog: http://dilbertblog.typepad.com/the_dilbert_blog/20 06/12/deja_food.html [typepad.com]

Confused, need help from ACTUAL biologist (1)

Virtual_Raider (52165) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406448)

Despite de title, someone that disclaims IANABiologist will reply anyway, oh well...

What I would like to know is what did they test to make sure it was safe. I am disconnected from all this cloning issues so the last I read was that clones had shorter lifespans than the originals. Some claimed it was because the base genetic material that they used might have transmitted it's "age state" to the new egg. Programmed cell suicide and all that. I also read that cloning of higher vertebrates was a really complex matter and with a very low success rate, though I'm not sure that matters because they don't seem to be aiming to produce a Clone Army (tm) of cows, rather than trying to clone the best specimens and have those breed so we can eat their offspring.

Eek, put like that makes me see better those crazy vegetarians' point. Anyway, another doubt that I have is how on earth can they be certain that swine and cow are ok but don't know about sheep? Maybe they simply didn't test them but might there be any other reason? After all, sheep were the first really complex vertebrates to be cloned...

Would somebody with actual knowledge clue me in please?

What about Twinkies? (1)

Bodrius (191265) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406464)

I'm amazed it took them five years to figure out this one.

Anyone knows how long did it take them to deal with more complex questions, like the safety (or exact composition) of a Twinkie?

Now, if they could just clone Dolly... (1)

fuego451 (958976) | more than 7 years ago | (#17406480)

Parton, that is. We could each have one, at any age of 18 or over, of course. Mmmm, big boobies. And, she'd be safe to eat.

Re:Now, if they could just clone Dolly... (1)

tom's a-cold (253195) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406704)

And shade for the young.

Is like the GM thingy? (1)

srizah (1042798) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406534)

There is going to be lots of debate like the GM crops and reading labels is going to be a chore if you have inhibitions.

Re:Is like the GM thingy? (1)

doctorzizmore (999192) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406652)

Well I hope this opens the way for more GM crops. The "hippies" who are against GM foods, while being well-meaning, have actually hurt a good cause. While it's definitely necessary for us to be careful when genetically engineering crops, I think the only hope the world has of supporting its current (and higher) populations is genetically engineered strains of food with higher yields and nutritional value. It actually seems quite selfish to me to insist on only organically grown crops when organically grown crops could not possibly support the entire world.

let's start (1)

t35t0r (751958) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406558)

flooding poor countries with cloned meat thereby further destroying their economy!

This just in... (2, Funny)

cronohyper (1044990) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406610)

Text created by Control+V deemed safe to read by MLA.

OUTGOING (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17406620)

HELLO WORLD
84635 84635
HELLO WORLD
55239 55239 17659 17659 42773 42773 37557 37557 35760 35760
63392 63392 28670 28670 19315 19315 32133 32133 59959 59959
49788 49788 78823 78823 00000 00000 18139 18139 07715 07715
60141 60141 91853 91853 17108 17108 45205 45205 09378 09378
68757 68757 09996 09996 62078 62078 95257 95257 69473 69473
39901 39901 93427 93427 47135 47135 33306 33306 77578 77578
86981 86981 65940 65940 54059 54059 05385 05385 56218 56218
53795 53795 10048 10048 16950 16950 68668 68668 85556 85556
79589 79589 81720 81720 81394 81394 04904 04904 54722 54722
83585 83585 20590 20590 34103 34103 18710 18710 18111 18111
90592 90592 61950 61950 77647 77647 27033 27033 36596 36596
14300 14300 34260 34260 10965 10965 12644 12644 12457 12457
09713 09713 73912 73912 48354 48354 25269 25269 32224 32224
11961 11961 16120 16120 60354 60354 96249 96249 77038 77038
91210 91210 01513 01513 70865 70865 96846 96846 93310 93310
42662 42662 12155 12155 87912 87912 63723 63723 72208 72208
50750 50750 18360 18360 73083 73083 04449 04449 68730 68730
83488 83488 41188 41188 22883 22883 87192 87192 11613 11613
86664 86664 73349 73349 09145 09145 29887 29887 77537 77537
68013 68013 92513 92513 29149 29149 62238 62238 82161 82161
63015 63015 54947 54947 81323 81323 31400 31400 67025 67025
71072 71072 94891 94891 32047 32047 82667 82667 08699 08699
75573 75573 24408 24408 80140 80140 87180 87180 41636 41636
31495 31495 31153 31153 07866 07866 98568 98568 11359 11359
43497 43497 95520 95520 41816 41816 87633 87633 99937 99937
00531 00531 41136 41136 47099 47099 72592 72592 88941 88941
35041 35041 82063 82063 58426 58426 95934 95934 50578 50578
77239 77239 65303 65303 27909 27909 74415 74415 87391 87391
43787 43787 91391 91391 02509 02509 29157 29157 63214 63214
60937 60937 28220 28220 64794 64794 21356 21356 14748 14748
05542 05542 27738 27738 70376 70376 39801 39801 50983 50983
87009 87009 36795 36795 46952 46952 50213 50213 17461 17461
73838 73838
SIGNOFF 119

Re:OUTGOING (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17406718)

1f_u_c4n_r34d_7h15_u_r34[[y_n33d_70_g37_l4id

no differences OR no known differences? (4, Interesting)

martyb (196687) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406624)

FTA:
If food from clones is indistinguishable, FDA doesn't have the authority to require labels, Sundlof said. (emphasis added)

I'd appreciate it if someone who was more knowledgable in these matters that I am could comment on the premise: "is a cloned animal actually indistinguishable from its donor?"

For example: On average, do cloned animals live just as long as non-cloned animals? (i.e. same average lifespan, standard deviation, confidence level, etc.) I ask this because I remember reading that some cells can undergo only a finite number of replications and that there were some concerns about telomere [wikipedia.org] and aging that figured into this.

So, are there ANY genetic differences between donor and cloned animals? That we might not have noticed a difference between the donor and the clone does not necessarily mean that there IS NO difference -- only that we HAVE NOT SEEN any difference... yet.

Tough (1)

Jethro (14165) | more than 6 years ago | (#17406768)

Well I'm pretty glad I'm a vegetarian right about now.

(and I don't drink milk)
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