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You Are What You Eat - "Clone Encounters"
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    These poor cows are being cloned, and we're eating them.

    Producers Favor Tracking Cloned Animals
    9 hours ago

    WASHINGTON — With the government set to allow food from cloned animals onto the market — and consumers not yet convinced it's safe — meat and dairy producers are promoting an industry-led system to track cloned livestock. . . .

    One thing the companies won't be able to do is identify the offspring of cloned animals. As Viagen President Mark Walton explained, "the database won't track cloned offspring because they are not clones. They are the same as every other animal ever produced from two parents."

    The plan received the backing from trade groups representing meat producers like Tyson Foods Inc. and food processors like Procter & Gamble Co.

    However, the initiative did little to quiet complaints from consumer advocates and lawmakers who say the American public is not prepared for clone encounters in their local grocery store.

    "It is much too soon for this controversial technology to be unleashed in the marketplace, especially without requiring it to be labeled," said Wenonah Hauter, director of Food & Water Watch.



    From the AP, 2005:

    Cloned beef already primed and ready to eat
    Approval from the food regulators is all that is holding back one US company from marketing cloned beef

    Sunday, Oct 09, 2005, Page 12

    About 129km east of Austin, out where the fire ants bite and men still doff their baseball hats when greeting women, 20 cows pregnant with calves cloned by ViaGen Inc have just arrived.

    Stampeding down a chute from a tractor trailer, the cattle join a menagerie of cloned pigs and cows that include Elvis and Priscilla, calves cloned from cells scraped from sides of high-quality beef hanging in a slaughterhouse.

    The cloning of barnyard animals has now become so commonplace and mechanized that ViaGen says it's more than ready to efficiently produce juicier steaks and tastier chops through cloning.

    It now looks like federal regulators will endorse the company's plan to bring its cloned animal products to America's dinner tables.

    No law prevents cloned food, but ViaGen has voluntarily withheld its products pending a ruling from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).



    Is there a project to clone endangered species so they won't become extinct?

    CLONING: Bringing Back Endangered Species
    Applied Genetics News - Oct 2000

    The first successful cloning of an endangered animal to late-stage fetal development has been reported. Advanced Cell Technology's (ACT, One Innovation Dr., Worcester, MA 01650; Tel: 508/756-1212, Fax: 508/756-0931; Website: cross-species nuclear transfer to clone the endangered gaur used eggs derived from cows. In late November, a domestic cow named Bessie (Sioux City, IA) is due to give birth to a baby gaur bull, which the company hopes to name "Noah."

    . . . "These results represent an important milestone," says Ian Wilmut of Scotland's Roslin Institute, editor-in-chief of Cloning. "The success of this new method shows promise for rescuing rare and endangered species and populations, and possibly even extinct animals and birds in cases where a relative is available."


    Ask a Scientist

    Question: What are some of the upsides and downsides of cloning, especially the cloning of endangered or extinct species?

    Answer: . . . Cloning endangered and extinct species has raised heated debate in the scientific community and beyond. On the one hand, many say it may offer us an opportunity to protect animals such as the giant panda from extinction so that our descendants will be able to see the beauty of these creatures. Some claim that cloning may help us bring back recently extinct species. Still others just want to have an opportunity to see a mammoth. (By the way, cloning mammoths from tissues frozen in Siberian permafrost is considered impossible with the current techniques because their DNA has become fragmented. In addition, scientists do not think that fossilized species such as dinosaurs can be cloned.) Indeed, if successful cloning of an endangered or recently extinct species is possible, we may be able to boost the populations of these animals.

    On the other hand, cloned populations consist of genetically identical individuals, leading to high susceptibility to many diseases and slow adaptation to the environment. In addition, some argue that introducing extinct species back into the wild may upset the natural balance and have disastrous effects on the populations of other species. Such concerns are probably not as relevant with recently extinct species, where their extinction has usually been caused by human interventions, such as destruction of habitats and hunting. We do have to consider such issues when we start talking about bringing back mammoths, but the cloning of long-extinct species is still only a theoretical possibility. Concerns remain, however, that endangered and recently extinct species could be brought back to a world where their habitats no longer exist, and they will only be able to survive in zoos.

    Another concern voiced by animal conservationists is that cloning endangered species would be viewed by the public (and governments) as an alternative to the breeding and habitat-protection programs already in place. Such possibilities are especially alarming as cloning techniques become cheaper and may be viewed as a less costly alternative to the more traditional means of protecting endangered species. Of course, cloning cannot serve as a substitute for such programs, because cloned animals lack the genetic diversity that is crucial to survival, and they still need habitats to live in.


    Blade Runner is Coming True


    Deckard:  -- Is this a real snake?
    Zhora: Of course it's not real.  Do you think I'd be working in a place like this if I could afford a real snake?