What could be more succulent than beef from a blue ribbon steer? What could be more tasty than bacon cut from the pig that won the State Fair? And what if you could get this meat at your local grocery store, without paying much more than you were paying now? You’d be tempted, right?
Well, what if it wasn’t exactly the pig that won the fair, but a clone of that pig. Would that change your mind?
Well, the FDA says they are completely the same. Not everyone agrees with them, though. A full third of people the FDA surveyed said they would never eat the flesh of a cloned animal. Well, perhaps I should say, “would never knowingly eat.” Because, despite this survey, the FDA went ahead and approved the sale of cloned meat without so much as a warning label.
“We found nothing in the food that could potentially be hazardous,” FDA food safety chief Dr. Stephen Sundlof said. “The food in every respect is indistinguishable from food from any other animal.”
Well, that’s good enough for me, Steve. I mean, Science has reached such an apex of learning that there’s nothing they could have missed. You checked it good, right?
The truth is, it’ll be a long time before we’ll be eating these animals. At least not directly. Cloned cows are ten to twenty times as expensive as regular cows, too expensive for anything but breeding purposes. But they are going to dominate that arena. What farmer could resist? Put it this way: You’ve spent your evening browsing Match.com, your tired eyes scanning over the same mediocre options you see every time you look. Then you notice a sidebar advertisement that says you can have your own Pierce Brosnan clone, delivered, for a mere forty-k.
It’s a no-brainer. Soon every piece of meat sold is going to have some relation to the cloned cousin of the uber-livestock. After all, cattle farmers already mail-order the frozen sperm from champion cows. This is just a natural progression.
The failure to get regulation in place here at the beginning is going to make it impossible to discern an animal’s history later. Of course, maybe I’m just worried for no good reason. The FDA surely took a fair and unbiased approach to their decision. They would have ignored any pressure from the corporate meat lobby. Heck, I bet them meat guys didn’t even try to influence the FDA’s decision. After all, they are a model of responsibility, right?