zOMG OMG OMG!!!!!!11!!111!! They are cloning aminals and put tehm in UR foodz!!! RUN!1!!!
The news agencies are all awash with reports that the FDA might approve cloned animals for sale as food. Whoopdee.
People need to stop being so reactionary to words like clone. When that word is said the knee jerk reaction is to freak out and think that there are some age accelerated mutant creatures out there that we might be eating. That isn't what this is.
This is cloning along similar lines of what Dolly the cloned sheep was. I am not 100% sure they are using the exact same method, but lets work with it that way.
Dolly was an EXACT replica (in DNA terms) of her donor sheep. So exact in fact they think it was possible that she was born 6 years old, because that is when the DNA was extracted from the donor sheep. It took her the same amount of time to reach normal size and she died of a disease that the other sheep around her also died of. She didn't suffer from some weird disease, and she wasn't treated with any weird chemicals. She was just a sheep, who happened to have the exact same traits as the sheep she was cloned from.
That is the same thing that we will see in Bulls and Cows that have been cloned. There isn't any reason to label the meat or any of that crap, because when you are eating the original there is no difference than when you are eating the clone. The DNA you are eating will be exactly the same as the original, because that is the very definition of the word CLONE.
As a matter of fact in the end it might end up being even better for you to eat cloned meat. What the farmers/companies that are doing the cloning are looking for is the perfect piece of meat, the perfect animal. What they will then do is clone it and continue to grow it over and over, providing lots of the best quality meat possible, so that more people will pay for that meat. How will that help you? Well if the cloners can find a great piece of meat that doesn't have to be injected with hormones and chemicals then they will go for that as their donor because it is cheaper. In the end we should end up eating meat that has fewer steroids and crap injected into it, which should make the free range style people happy.
Really there are only a few downsides to the cloning of these meats. The first is that it could potentially lead to a famine. As the more desired meats are cloned it would stand to reason that the less desired ones will fall out at a quick rate. If the remaining types are all susceptible to a disease then it would be possible that large portions of the livestock population could be wiped out. This is not different than the selective breeding that we do now, but it might work faster and leave a much smaller gene pool in a shorter amount of time.
The other thing is that it will slow or stop evolution in these animals. Not that we haven't already done that, but it could be the final stop point for it. In the future if all animals produced for food are clones mutations will be small or non-existant and thus evolution will be stopped. All generations will be the same as the previous.
The two above arguments are far better reasons to be cautious about a mass move to cloned food livestock than any of the imagined religous or bigoted “we don't want clones” reasons and I really wish that the news media would have taken the time to think about that instead of just playing on peoples fears of a word.