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Bill Would Require Labels on Cloned Food

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the it-tastes-exactly-the-same dept.

Biotech 251

ComeBack writes "Steaks, pork chops, milk and other products from cloned livestock would have to be clearly labeled on grocers' shelves under a bill pending in the California Legislature. If passed, the requirement could be more stringent than federal rules. The Food and Drug Administration is poised to give final approval to meat and milk from cloned animals without any special labeling, though a bill introduced in Congress would require it."

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Obligatory Mini-Me Quote (4, Funny)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790647)

Mini-Me: Are you a clone of an angel?

Foxxy Cleopatra: Ohhh how sweet. No, my mini-man, I'm not.

Mini-Me: Are you sure you don't have a little clone in you?

Foxxy Cleopatra: Yes I'm sure.

Mini-Me: Would you like to?

ATTN: SWITCHEURS! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18791149)

If you don't know what Cmd-Shift-1 and Cmd-Shift-2 are for, GTFO.
If you think Firefox is a decent Mac application, GTFO.
If you're still looking for the "maximize" button, GTFO.
If the name "Clarus" means nothing to you, GTFO.

Bandwagon jumpers are not welcome among real [imageshack.us] Mac [imageshack.us] users [imageshack.us] . Keep your filthy, beige [imageshack.us] PC fingers to yourself.

Just who is this "Bill"? (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791343)

And who is he, to "require" anything?

Re:Just who is this "Bill"? (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791865)

Yeah. I often wonder who "Frank" is and why people keep impersonating him. At least he's honest. I can't see anything redeeming about Bill - he's soo demanding.

The Point? (1)

Piedramente (1063240) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790655)

What is the point of the label without any information regarding the risks?

Let me guess... this will be just about as useless as the "found in laboratory animals" label...

Re:The Point? (3, Insightful)

triikan (1035650) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790675)

The point is to allow consumers to make their own decisions on what goes into their bodies.

Re:The Point? (2, Interesting)

LiENUS (207736) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790795)

If cloning produces a genetically identical animal to the original what is the purpose? The original cow wasn't labeled when it made its way through the superstore, why should the exact copies be labeled?

Re:The Point? (3, Insightful)

SirTalon42 (751509) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790947)

Clones AREN'T exact copies. At least with our current technology. Clones tend to die a lot quicker than the real things and develop more diseases.

Why I want GM & Cloned foods to be labeled. (4, Insightful)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791725)

Clones AREN'T exact copies. At least with our current technology. Clones tend to die a lot quicker than the real things and develop more diseases.
I agree... The way I see it there are diseases that are caused by some pretty unexpected mechanisms [wikipedia.org] and not just viruses or bacteria so, basically, I'd rather be safe than sorry. Now, I know prion diseases have little or nothing to do with cloning but if such a thing as infectious proteins is possible I'm open to the possibility that GM foods may be harmful to humans in ways that have yet to manifest them selves. I'm normally quite quick to adopt new technologies but if they have the potential to shorten my life-span I'm simply not interested. Another point is that these GM/Cloned food stuffs offer no real advantages that I can see over the old fashioned food stuffs and so I will keep away from anything made from GELFs for the foreseeable future. If GM/Cloned food labeling hurts some soulless corporation's profit margin by reducing their ability to market their GM foods products then.... well..... I really don't give a f*ck. I still want GM foods to be labeled, period!.

Re:Why I want GM & Cloned foods to be labeled. (1)

LiENUS (207736) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791805)

Cloned foods allow them to slaughter a cow, check the quality of the meat and then clone it to make more cows like that one.

Re:Why I want GM & Cloned foods to be labeled. (2, Funny)

Werkhaus (549466) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791973)

Slaughtering the cow is no longer necessary to check meat quality. A simple hair sample will do. DNA testing can be done for tenderness, flavour/marbling and feed efficiency.

Re:Why I want GM & Cloned foods to be labeled. (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18792361)

Cloned foods allow them to slaughter a cow, check the quality of the meat and then clone it to make more cows like that one.
That's just the point. Clones created with current technology are not exact copies. They get diseases more easily, have shorter life-spans and suffer from all sorts of weird conditions like organs that grow at freakish speeds which results in hideous deformities. Nobody seems to know why and yet the biotech industry feels quite confident that eating cloned meat will have no detrimental effect on my health what so ever!?! Having watched several scientific documentaries on the subject of cloning I'll live a long and happy life without ever eating a single mouthful of cloned meat and if that means coming accross a less than optimally tender steak once in a while that's a price I'm more than willing to pay.

Re:The Point? (2, Informative)

Kiaser Wilhelm II (902309) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790955)

Thats the rub. Cloning does not result in exact copies. We also do not know what are the possible long-term side effects or risks are.

Re:The Point? (1)

Danga (307709) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790985)

The point is cloning is too new to know if any risks are present since no long term tests have been done yet and this would at least let people have a choice to be a guinee pig or not. Personally I would prefer not to be one.

This is similar to some of the genetically modified/genetically engineered foods that are available which could have long term health effects and from what I have heard some have even shown some effects in the short term. The last time I checked the legislation in the US would not require genetically modified foods to be labeled such which pissed me off.

I want the choice to know what is going into my body and it is not like marking such foods as genetically engineered or the product of a cloned animal/plant would be that hard to do.

I agree, mostly (3, Insightful)

benhocking (724439) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791137)

If enough* people are concerned about it, then it makes sense to label accordingly. If I weren't a vegetarian, then I'd have no problem paying less for cloned meat, as I think it's highly unlikely that cloning could result in any danger to the consumer. If you feel differently, then you should be allowed to opt out - which is what labeling allows.

* enough should be a pretty low bar as labeling isn't that expensive. Maybe 1% = "enough", but I'm just making up numbers here.

Re:I agree, mostly (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791441)

For that matter, seeing something marked as cloned may get me to opt in. Products that are made to be of higher quality may attract my attention faster, especially since I've been avoiding most red meat for health reasons. I'd like to be able to go back to eating a little more of it if it can be shown to be very lean and have certain other characteristics more likely to be found in poultry, simply because I like the taste of a nice steak.

Re:The Point? (1)

llZENll (545605) | more than 7 years ago | (#18792247)

The difference is a matter of life and death. Studies done in Europe have shown that animals that ate cloned meat developed tumors, cancer, and several other diseases after several months.

I will never eat cloned anything if given a choice, which a label would. I would rather not eat genetically modified and growth enhanced food if possible as well, but currently nothing is labelled at all, it amazes me. Coorparations have their hand so far up the governments ass the people can't get shit for protection anymore.

In 50 years I wouldn't be surprised if 90% of the population started developing unknown forms of cancer as a result of all the shit we are eating. And we don't even have a choice because there isn't any labels or laws. Hell even if you plant your own food how do you know the seeds you use aren't genetically modified, and the water you use is ok, and the soil, yea I know, the sky is falling, well, it just never fucking ends it seems and its only getting worse.

Re:The Point? (1)

rahrens (939941) | more than 7 years ago | (#18792359)

I call FUD!

Cite some sources, please. For such a radical claim, you need to prove your assertions. Simply stating your opinion as fact won't cut it.

If such studies were in fact, introduced as evidence to the FDA or the panels that advise them, I promise you, this wouldn't be on the way to being approved.

Re:The Point? (2, Insightful)

Ayal.Rosenthal (1070472) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790875)

People don't know what's going into their bodies today. People drink Splenda thinking that it has something to do with sugar (it doesn't) or eat non-fat burgers with natural flavors (naturally made in a lab). The processes that foods go through today make it impossible to do know what goes into your body, unless you're eating fruits & vegetables.

Re:The Point? (2, Insightful)

senatorpjt (709879) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791011)

Actually, I know exactly what is in Splenda. I have no idea what has been sprayed on the fruit.

Re:The Point? (1)

Ayal.Rosenthal (1070472) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791161)

Probably pesticides. They help build character.

Re:The Point? (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791801)

People drink Splenda thinking that it has something to do with sugar (it doesn't)
Sure it does. Splenda contains dextrose, which is a sugar, as well as sucralose [wikipedia.org] , which is an artificial sweetener manufactured by the selective chlorination of sucrose (hence the tagline "made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar").

Re:The Point? (1)

Ayal.Rosenthal (1070472) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791909)

It uses sucralose, which though its sounds an awful lot like sucrose is a completely different compound. It puts sucrose into the process and also evaporates sucrose there is no sugar in the start of the process nor the end. The article below details the case working its way through the courts about whether J&J can continue to market the "Made from sugar..." line. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/06/business/media/0 6sweet.html?ex=1177041600&en=02f27306583dd6bc&ei=5 070 [nytimes.com]

Re:The Point? (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 7 years ago | (#18792435)

It uses sucralose, which though its sounds an awful lot like sucrose is a completely different compound.
Yes, that's how chemical reactions work: one compound becomes a different one. Sucralose is made from sucrose, so it's incorrect to say Splenda has nothing to do with sugar (besides the fact that it also contains dextrose, which is an actual sugar).

It puts sucrose into the process and also evaporates sucrose there is no sugar in the start of the process nor the end.
"Evaporates"? I don't think so. The sucrose isn't removed; it's changed into sucralose.

Re:The Point? (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790889)

What is the point of the label without any information regarding the risks?

Hey earl, you remember them steaks you got last week ?
What was the batch number on those ?

Re:The Point? (4, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | more than 7 years ago | (#18792257)

What is the point of the label without any information regarding the risks?

1. So you can falsely imply risks and sell your competing product as clone-free.
2. So you can hire more government employees to police the label requirement. They (or their union) will contribute to your campaign.
3. For the revenue from the fines on "improperly" labeled food.
4. You run a law firm and can sue companies for "harm" from cloned food. They settle out of court.
5. Who better to head the food labeling bureau than the guy who wrote the bill?

So the short answer is profit.

This is the reason behind most regulation or other government action.

So Sayeth the Great Compromiser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18790701)

There shall be vats of Unthinking Cloned Meat for everybody.

This will please the meat eaters, and will please the animal-cruelty protestors.

Re:So Sayeth the Great Compromiser (4, Funny)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790961)

... and will please the animal-cruelty protestors.

Untill they figure out that we're not only killing the animals, we're killing them over & over again.

Re:So Sayeth the Great Compromiser (2, Insightful)

AmiAthena (798358) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791443)

There are a lot of people with moral objections to cloning of any kind. They believe it is playing God. Whether you or I agree is neither here nor there. While I might disagree with many veiws of, say, a conservative Christian, I think they have as much right to know whether the food they buy conflicts with their beliefs as anyone else. Jews and Muslims don't eat pork, Hindus don't eat beef. This generally gets respected. Anyone remember McDonald's getting in trouble for not making it known they were using beef lard to fry their fries? I can't imagine how horrible it would feel to be Hindu and find out that your potatoes containted literal sacred cow. I think many people would feel the same about their meat being cloned, and they should have the choice not to eat it.

Re:So Sayeth the Great Compromiser (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791471)

I was more or less hinting that we could keep track of good batches of steaks, but to each their own.

Re:So Sayeth the Great Compromiser (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791495)

Whoops, sorry, I thought this was to the other reply I made.

Re:So Sayeth the Great Compromiser (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 7 years ago | (#18792049)

Eventually, of course, we'll discover a way to genetically engineer an animal that wants to be eaten, and can express said desire clearly and eloquently, at which point we can finally put all the "cruelty to animals" arguments behind us for good.

Re:So Sayeth the Great Compromiser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18792215)

About your sig:
Throughout human history, the greatest threat to life and liberty has been not terrorism, but the power of the State.

And just who gives the State it's power?

Think about it, libermoron.

Re:So Sayeth the Great Compromiser (2, Funny)

Asmandeus (640419) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791139)

There shall be vats of Unthinking Cloned Meat for everybody.
Finally! I just hope that bathing in cloned meat gives me the same gratification I get from real meat.

Re:So Sayeth the Great Compromiser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18792291)

> There shall be vats of Unthinking Cloned Meat for everybody.

> This will please the meat eaters, and will please the animal-cruelty protestors

http://www.angryflower.com/vegeta.gif [angryflower.com]

Somewhat surprising (4, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790735)

Just recently, the FDA has quietly changed the labeling requirements on using irradiation to package food with. Now, It is called pasteurization. Yup, just like Milk's process (which simply flash heats and cools the milk).

Do not get me wrong. I have no qualm about eating irradiated food. But I do believe that I should get to know what I am eating. As it is, it bother me that the markets are required to show that a fish comes from china (as it should), but a dog food with imported products such as Wheat Glutin can be labeled as made in America/Canada.

Re:Somewhat surprising (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790895)

I think that is the key: Don't limit the selection, just force makers to CLEARLY label what you are buying, including country of orgin, contents, and any "unusual" methods of handling or origin, just as iradiation, gm, cloning, etc.

Re:Somewhat surprising (0, Redundant)

Propaganda13 (312548) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791021)

Agreed.

Re:Somewhat surprising (4, Interesting)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791001)

I've read some libertarian postings that propose a complete and accurate information should be the only regulation that government imposes on business. Besides the problems that that poses as far as infrastructure and business cost, I can't think of a problem with it.

If we left labeling solely up to corporations, all we would get would be informationless, quasi-inaccurate or misleading feel-good marketing BS, or no labeling at all. Marketing is emotional manipulation, not factual communication. Back in the good old days, before the FDA, if a plant worker fell in the meat-processing machinery, a lot of people would wind up eating human flesh from a can of pork. I guess I can't say I would have a problem avoiding a can of meat that contained some amount of human flesh, so long as it was accurately labeled ;)

Re:Somewhat surprising (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791659)

I guess I can't say I would have a problem avoiding a can of meat that contained some amount of human flesh, so long as it was accurately labeled ;)

Southern fried Soylent Green, The really white meat.

Re:Somewhat surprising (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 7 years ago | (#18792173)

If we left labeling solely up to corporations, all we would get would be informationless, quasi-inaccurate or misleading feel-good marketing BS, or no labeling at all.

If the "corporations" are using inaccurate or misleading labeling or advertising then they're committing fraud, and the courts can handle that under common law without any special regulation. If they omit the labeling entirely, on the other hand, and don't make any other claims regarding what they're selling, then the buyer has no recourse; I suppose that's the price you pay for not caring what's in your "food" enough to ask, or in the worst case have it analyzed. It's not like most of the mandatory labels we have now contain anything close to the volume of information you can find for free online from someone who's performed their own investigation.

Re:Somewhat surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18792345)

Besides the problems that that poses as far as infrastructure and business cost

Oh noes! As a business owner it's SO terrible for me to be forced to know where the parts of my product came from, and to contact their producers to find out where the parts of their products came from! Why, it's absolutely absurd that the government should force me to stop my current business practice of expecting the components to just show up on my doorstep without as much as a return address!

Re:Somewhat surprising (1, Insightful)

Azghoul (25786) | more than 7 years ago | (#18792381)

It occurs to me, as a relatively rabid libertarian, that your "informationless, quasi-inaccurate or misleading feel-good marketing BS" should be regarded as fraud, pure and simple.

The only question is how much labeling is enough/too much? How much risk must there be to trigger the warning label?

Re:Somewhat surprising (2, Interesting)

OldManAndTheC++ (723450) | more than 7 years ago | (#18792391)

Back in the good old days, before the FDA, if a plant worker fell in the meat-processing machinery, a lot of people would wind up eating human flesh from a can of pork.

[citation needed]

(please disregard my sig for the duration of this thread...)

Cloned Meat (2, Funny)

Ikyaat (764422) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790759)

"Wouldn't you like to know if you're drinking milk from a cloned cow, or feeding your children pork chops from a somatic cell nuclear transfer event?"

No, I wouldn't thanks. I cant taste the onions in moms stew if you don't point it out, and I cant taste the genetic residue from molly the cloned sheep in my lamb chops if you don't point that out either so be quiet and let me eat in peace.

What exactly does a somatic cell nuclear transfer event taste like anyway? Chicken?

Good thing it isn't on fruits and vegitables (2, Informative)

StevenMaurer (115071) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790817)

...because just about everything in the whole store would have a sticker on it.

Apples? Cloned. Potatos? Cloned. Bannanas? Cloned.
Most commercial strawberries are propagated via runners.
Corn is a freak hybrid. Always has been.

And yet a bunch of kook Californians are trying to use cloning to stoke fear in consumers.

Never say the hard left isn't as anti-scientific as the hard right.

Re:Good thing it isn't on fruits and vegitables (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18790909)

I think you are a bit confused as to the definition of cloning.

Re:Good thing it isn't on fruits and vegitables (3, Informative)

Smurf (7981) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791261)

I think you are a bit confused as to the definition of cloning.

No, precisely his point is that most people (including you) are very confused as to what cloning really means. [wikipedia.org] It just turns out that cloning vegetables is so much easier than cloning animals, that we have been doing it for -literally- centuries.

Re:Good thing it isn't on fruits and vegitables (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790937)

I was wondering the other day.. why is it that no genetic engineering company has come out with a truly innovative fruit? Sure, they improve on the old classics, but they never try to make anything that isn't "natural". For example, why do watermelons have to be so big? Can't you make a watermelon the size of an apple, and maybe give it an edible skin? In fact, why can't you make oranges have an edible skin? Or custard apples (Annona reticulata).. Or rock melons?

Is it a lack of vision or is it just really really hard?

Re:Good thing it isn't on fruits and vegitables (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791493)

Oranges do have edible skin. I've had coworkers in the past that eat every last bit of citrus fruit (oranges, tangerines, grapefruit), which I found odd, but they never keeled over and died. The only use I've ever made of orange rinds is using the zest in the occasional baked chicken.

Re:Good thing it isn't on fruits and vegitables (1)

PieSquared (867490) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791577)

It is really that hard. Cloning is just copying genetic material, but changing things is much harder. Small things that already vary are fairly easy to change. You have a flower that can be red or white? It isn't that hard to find the difference between the two and change that area further to make a new color. But there is no line of DNA that says "edible" that you can change. You have to change individual proteins and such. You can't copy another fruit's skin either, since there isn't a discrete section of DNA referring to "skin." Skin also has quite a bit to do with how a fruit grows...

Changing the size might be easier (though still not *that* easy if you don't want it to just stop growing before it's ripe), but with how thick a watermelon's skin is that would be kinda silly.

In the end changing the skin would certainly be possible, but it would be much harder - you'd almost certainly have to modify quite a few genes and you'd probably have to try dozens of combinations that *did* change the skin before you found one that didn't also change the already edible part or stall up development. Then you have to ask - how much *more* would you really be willing to pay for a thin skinned watermelon? Would it be enough to cover the R&D that only has a chance of success, and the added cost of growing the new watermelons, which would certainly require different harvesting and shipping mechanisms since they don't have a protective shell? What about the fact that it would be easier for them to be destroyed by bugs?

Changing the skin from big and hard to soft and edible sounds nice, but it may be more trouble then it is worth. Not to mention trying to make it taste good even after it is edible...

Re:Good thing it isn't on fruits and vegitables (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791953)

Ask and ye shall receive. Square Watermelons [google.ca] .

Re:Good thing it isn't on fruits and vegitables (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 7 years ago | (#18792331)

Those however are only grown in a box to put them in shape, no gen tech involved at all.

Re:Good thing it isn't on fruits and vegitables (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791101)

I agree!

In fact, if all food that was cloned had to be labelled as such, people would very quickly "get over it" and desensitize.

Then, it's game over for the anti-clonistas.

Re:Good thing it isn't on fruits and vegitables (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18791181)

Read this [cornucopia.org] . While I don't personally subscribe to their entire agenda, it's a good overview of the dangers of cloning.

That's natural reproduction for these plants (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791511)

... well except for the hybrid. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetative_reproducti on [wikipedia.org]

This form of reproduction is not natural for animals (except maybe geeks). Cloning should be labelled because there are a bunch of unknowns and unnatural processes involved. Apart from potential health issues there are also ethical ones. As a consumer I might choose to not support cloning.

Re:Good thing it isn't on fruits and vegitables (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791539)

Can you tell me more about the hybrid nature of corn? I had read that it was a few mutations different from its wild cousin, Teosinte. Or are you saying that most of the corn grown around the world is a modern hybrid of existing corn varieties?

Re:Good thing it isn't on fruits and vegitables (1)

MDMurphy (208495) | more than 7 years ago | (#18792005)

The first chapter in "Omnivore's Dillema" is pretty much all about corn.

  http://www.michaelpollan.com/article.php?id=5 [michaelpollan.com]

Re:Good thing it isn't on fruits and vegitables (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18792129)

Just because you don't like it, doesn't make it untrue. Fruits these days are produced by taking a piece of plant and causing it to grow roots. How else do you think they get things like seedless grapes? The cloning is desirable as it gives a more uniform result, and people are fans of consistency in their products.

It may not involve test tubes, but that doesn't mean it's not cloning. We've been screwing with plant and animal genetics for years through processes like selective breeding. The processes are just becoming more precise these days.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/question349.htm [howstuffworks.com]

Re:Good thing it isn't on fruits and vegitables (1, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | more than 7 years ago | (#18792131)

Never say the hard left isn't as anti-scientific as the hard right.

This statement is incorrect on both counts.

The hard left isn't anti-scientific. They are simply ignorant, emotion-based, hateful, and extremely immature. What would a ten-year-old girl do? That's what a hard lefty would do. Cloning=yuck-fear-greedy-rich-bad-men-harming-cute -animals. This is not anti-scientific exactly, though it's not scientific thinking (or thinking at all really). They're pro-scientific when there's a compelling emotional appeal to something scientific and anti-scientific when the emotional appeal is the other way.

The hard right wants to teach their children an outdated misinterpretation of the Bible. (I assume that's what you're talking about.) They also don't want to be made poorer by being forced to do things against their will because some "expert" says it's a good idea. The hard right is pro-scientific in all other cases.

The hard right needs to re-read their Bible and apply some ordinary logical reasoning to what it actually says. The hard left needs to grow up.

Consumers need information... (1)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790831)

I'm not for markets, but I do know how they work. They require the consumer to have full knowledge of the products they might buy.

As such I think that in this present society, all modified organisms (genetically modified via the addition or removal of genes or whatever) should be clearly labelled. Treatments (such as irradiation) should be clearly labelled and so on.

Sure they can ring the company, but do you really think the company will tell the truth, or if they do say it such a manner that the consumer can understand?

This is (one) why capitalism needs government, because consumers cannot get information without government regulation.

Yes labelling might cause consumer backlash, but isn't that what the market is about? Providing what the consumer wants?

This is laughable (2, Informative)

Keith Duhaime (139896) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791225)

As an agrologist that grew up in the dairy industry, I can tell you right now this is one of the most laughable initiatives to come along in a long time. Too bad the people proposing this don't have half a clue about how we use genetics in the production of livestock products. THERE WILL BE NO MEAT OR MILK COMING FROM ANY CLONED ANIMALS FOR A LONG TIME. These people are wasting everyone's time.

Re:Consumers need information... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791469)

There is room for independent certification(e.g. Underwriters Laboratories or NSF International or the Forest Stewardship Council). Without government they might need rather well armed enforcement divisions, but they could exist.

From he who sells it cheapest to he who wants it most!

If people are so worried about cloned food... (2, Funny)

Nullav (1053766) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790841)

...why aren't people complaining about the originals? After all, a clone is (literally) exactly the same.

Re:If people are so worried about cloned food... (4, Funny)

srmalloy (263556) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790957)

And while we're at it, let's require that all identical twins, triplets, etc. be required to wear prominent labels stating "WARNING: THIS ENTITY IS A CLONE" in order to make sure that we don't unknowingly associate with one...

Re:If people are so worried about cloned food... (1)

EdwinBoyd (810701) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791051)

Only in a literal sense, current 'clones' are more akin to a bad photocopy with a shortened lifespan, weaker disease resistance and other factors that are still under study.

other labels (3, Insightful)

contrapunctus (907549) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790849)

All the following is IMHO.

I think labels are a good thing; consumers can educate themselves if they want to and they have all the relevant info available.

I think having food labeled whether it's genetically modified is also helpful.

I'm always looking for food that has been obtained using fair trade practices.
I also look for food that has been obtained using sustainable and eco-friendly practices.

My only choices now are to go to the local organic/natural food store and internet stores, not only for food but for environmentally friendly household products (and others).

Re:other labels (1)

AusIV (950840) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791731)

I generally agree. I couldn't care less whether or not the food I'm eating has been cloned, but if someone has a problem with eating cloned food, I think they ought to be able to know about it. I don't want to see the government banning cloned food (unless it turns out to pose a real health risk), but at the same time I don't think people ought to be in the dark about what they're eating.

but genetic modification is a-ok!*thumbsup* (2, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790871)

cloning an unmodified strain of cattle, while not wise in terms of failsafing your herds, will at least produce the exact same natural cows.

research has been showing genetically modified foods may be detrimental to your health, and yet no label for them.

i guess government "concern for safety" only applies when the industry to be targetted doesnt have billions in revenues.

Scientific consensus: GM foods are safe (1, Flamebait)

Kohath (38547) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791809)

There's a scientific consensus that GM foods are safe [reason.com] .

We should listen to a "scientific consensus" when they say climate change will kill us all, but we shouldn't listen to them when they say GM foods are safe?

contradictory report anyone? (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#18792341)

from your own little article:

Nevertheless, the UCS[union of concerned scientists] concludes "the scientific evidence available to date, while encouraging, does not support the conclusion that genetically modified crops are intrinsically safe for health or the environment."


I rest my case, they should require labeling.

Required? Why? (1, Interesting)

ZackSchil (560462) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790897)

Personally, if I were a dairy farmer, I'd start up a brand with cloning as a gimmick. Maybe even make a witty commercial with a uneducated-looking farmer talking about the intricacies of selecting only the best dairy cows that naturally produce the best milk, and then cloning the hell out of them.

"That there's Bessy. She's the best cow we've ever had. Produces the best milk you've ever tasted, and lots of it too. So we had her cloned. That whole barn there is full of Bessys. Heck, it's better 'n pumpin' 'em all full a hormones and whatnot. We got the technology. It's just smart business sense, y'know?"

Really, the milk probably wouldn't taste better than any other brand, but it's a neat little gimmick to squeeze some product differentiation out of such a profitless, commodity market. Plus, it really is genuinely better than pumping all your cows full of shitty hormones that end up in people.

Re:Required? Why? (2, Informative)

contrapunctus (907549) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791019)

The problem is that usually it's the bull that's cloned because he has fathered goos dairy cows and only for the purpose of breeding.
So the dairy cow isn't technically cloned.
Now would the milk be labeled coned?

Re:Required? Why? (2, Informative)

Werkhaus (549466) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791597)

>Personally, if I were a dairy farmer, I'd start up a brand with cloning as a gimmick.

Already being done with beef cattle.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200704/s18988 13.htm [abc.net.au]
In this case it's not a gimmick but a way to retain the same high-quality tenderness and flavour genes in his herd.

Wasn't there something like this before? (2, Funny)

i_wanna_be_a_scienti (1042298) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790927)

I could swear that i read this article on slashdot before ... i just can't find the link ...

Re:Wasn't there something like this before? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18791877)

You're alluding to the notion that the article is a dupe which, in the context of this article, would suggest that it's a clone. The subtle reference to cloning in an article regarding cloning produces humorous effect, evoking a chuckle from the reader.

Oh, and you're welcome for explaining the joke. Likely I will make a similar joke in the future, thus completing the cloning meme and evoking more smiles of appreciation from astute readers.
 

Kalifooornyah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18791007)

Is anyone else sick and tired of California thinking its special with its different laws than the rest of the country? I personally can't wait until it runs out of water.

biznmat3h (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18791031)

FROM THE FREEBSD youu join today!

I say good. (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791075)

I can't really see a reason against this except cost and regulation. Honestly I wouldn't care.

Really it's not for you (unless you want it) it's for the people who are morally opposed to certain things. You can do it for Kosher food, why not have it for cloned food (and possibly genetically enhanced food). The fact is there's going to be people against cloned food, and those people will choose not to buy cloned food, why not make it easier so they don't have to bitch. Let them go be elitists.

Personally I'm interested in a chicken that doesn't taste like chicken, hell find me a way to get lettuce that tastes like bacon and I'll start eating healthy. But that's a different story (as well as meat that automatically regenerates what ever portion I eat of it).

How far down the chain does the labelling extend? (4, Interesting)

NewsWatcher (450241) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791093)

My thoughts are that consumers SHOULD be aware of what they are eating, and they should be able to choose what to eat themselves. It may be that while not worried about the health impact of cloned meat, a consumer may have ethical concerns about scientists tinkering to produce cloned animals.

What I want to know though, is what happens to the offspring of cloned animals? Is their meat also labelled? If the offspring were the result of a pairing of two cloned animals, then presumably they also have cloned genes floating through their bodies. If the parents are unhealthy, then presumably the offspring are too.

What about the pairing of a cloned animal with an uncloned one? What do you do about their offspring?
If an animals is just 1/4 or 1/8 or 1/256th cloned, does it still get a warning?

mod 0p (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18791107)

UGH! (0, Troll)

posterlogo (943853) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791153)

How about a bill that requires labeling of all 'unnatural' food stocks? Like pretty much everything domesticated by humans in the last 15,000 years. This is ridiculous. I once saw a TV program where the host went around asking people if they would ever eat anything with DNA in it and most people seemed to get disgusted. We seriously need better K-12 education.

Really? (0, Offtopic)

Trogre (513942) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791197)

Why would he do that?

Perhaps.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18791199)

..someone should remind Bill he's no longer Prez!

WAY too much /. for me....... (1)

theralfinator (1087355) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791223)

Now I KNOW I should lay off the /. for a little while. The first thought that came to mind when I saw the title was "What the heck does Microsoft have to do with the food industry??????" :-P

No I want this one! (1)

Disharmony2012 (998431) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791289)

Even though the original and cloned are geneticly identical! Talk about picky!

Meh.... (0)

mark-t (151149) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791349)

Is it an employer's business that his employee has an identical twin?

No?

Then why should it be the consumer's business that the food they may be eating came from a cloned source?

Clones are, when all is said and done, nothing else but a time-shifted identical twin.

Giving people this information just gives them something else to bitch about and create divisions in society... those who would eat cloned food and those who are somehow "too good" to resort to eating "copies".

Re:Meh.... (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 7 years ago | (#18792025)

Okay so we ignore it, in 10 years time we find out cloned meat increases your chances of prostate cancer. Then what?

We label shit because people may wish to avoid it, maybe you should check out people's allergy diets and see just difficult it is for people like that. We already have to work out why the hell ham (yes ham, like pig cooked and cut up) contains 12 types of chemicals and still uses milk protien for some unknown reason, so maybe we'd like to know if that ham had cloned meat in it which may cause us problems too.

Re:Meh.... (1)

hazem (472289) | more than 7 years ago | (#18792343)

Clones are, when all is said and done, nothing else but a time-shifted identical twin.

Except, as several people have pointed out, the clones tend to have shorter life spans and weaker immune systems. They might have identical genes, but something else is going on that is not identical. There's apparently more to the genes in a cell than simply the GATC spelling of the DNA.

Until it's worked out, I'd rather have a label telling me that the food may be from a compromised animal.

Can't they just (1)

Centurix (249778) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791353)

Genetically insert the label into the fruits DNA? Saves a lot of time.

It'll be useless once I get my 3D fruit photocopier anyway.

Smart man. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18791359)

I always liked Bill. Very prudent.

Ahh, the ignorance (3, Interesting)

Alpha830RulZ (939527) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791369)

They've been smoking cloned dope for well over 20 years, without much protest or concern. Essentially all, or nearly all, marijuana is grown from cloned stock. You'd think that would assuage their fears somewhat.

processed meat (1)

Pvt. Cthulhu (990218) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791489)

for some reason, this reminds me of playing Yuri's Revenge. hehe, taking the guys that come out of the cloning vats and sending them to the grinders... Mmmm... soylent green is my kind of people

Labels are fine, but would I eat it? (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791667)

A cloned cow is genetically the same as the first cow.

So I guess it would depend on how the first cow tasted.

I guess the worst that could happen is I eat some retarded inbred cow or something, but I'm sure plenty of cows are retarded and I've eaten 'em.

Stupid. (1)

insomniac8400 (590226) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791709)

How does a cloned animal's meat differ from a non cloned animals? Plants are cloned all the time, why not meat?

Re:Stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18791897)

Not really. There are a whole host of things that are different when an animal is cloned -- for instance mitochondrial DNA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitochondrial_dna [wikipedia.org]

or telomeres may all be differing from the original. Although unlikely, it is entirely possible that a cloned animal has different protein composition to its cells, and thus meat, than the original. Differing expression of genes may alter metabolism. Again, these are all fears that I do not necessarily share as a biologist, but they are entirely possible, as the chromosome transfer process makes this quite distinct from even, say, identical twins, who also share the same DNA.

Sorry, at work computer, can't log in...

Control freak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18791751)

Forcing us to use IE is bad enough, now he wants to label my food?

Who's Bill? (1)

zolaar (764683) | more than 7 years ago | (#18792091)

And why's he always telling me what to do?
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