Friday, December 29, 2006


Suzanne Goldenberg reports in the Guardian that government and agribusiness in the US are preparing a special pot luck for Americans. Consumables made from cloned animals will be filtering into the national diet.
"The FDA plans to hold public consultations until April. But cloned meat and milk could be on dinner tables by the end of 2007, without most Americans even noticing. Mr Sundlof said the FDA was unlikely to require labels telling consumers they were eating the products of clones."

"The high cost of raising clones makes it unlikely that any will be introduced directly into the food supply, except the occasional dairy cow past the age of producing milk. The number of cloned cows, pigs and goats in the US is believed to be in the low hundreds."

"But even with the FDA's all-clear, there remains considerable unease about the use of clones in agriculture. A poll by the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology this year found 64% of Americans uncomfortable with the idea of eating food from clones."
It would hardly whet the appetite of the average citizen to learn that cloned animals are often born arthritic and come into the world "with more deformities and other complications" than standard livestock.

Does that just make your mouth water, or what?

What if they gave a barbecue and nobody came? But you see, that's where the genius of not telling anyone what's inside a package comes in. Who wants to think about eating an arthritic pig that may have been born with two heads or an extra set of hooves? Not me. Most likely it was a marketing expert who pointed out the bright side of those discomfort statistics among Americans. Turn that percentage around and it means that 36% of Americans don't give a damn if they eat food from clones or not.

Can't you just imagine the sales pitch? Eating normal meat is no different than identifying with a brand; and the 64% who might be uncomfortable with the idea of clone flesh,--what of them? Nature and natural are quaint concepts and reproduction is overrated. Just dish up the stew and resist any compulsion to tell the poor maroon what he's just swallowed. A replica can be delicious, after all.

It's the kind of farce you've grown accustomed to in commercials. The smiling host finally tells his beaming dinner guest, "You've been eating clone all along."


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