Whether you think it’s cool and futuristic or gross and immoral, cloning can yield leaner, healthier livestock. And the Times reports that some cloned meat and dairy products are already thought to be lining Old World supermarket shelves.
While the FDA declared that food from cloned animals was A-OK to eat (at least nutritionally), Europe has been less receptive to the idea of cloned livestock, as well as genetically modified crops. But that hasn’t stopped breeders in Switzerland and Britain from importing semen and embryos from cloned animals originating in the US, hoping to create more profitably plump livestock.
One British farmer, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Times he was routinely selling milk produced by the offspring of a cloned cow, and the Swiss government admitted that “several hundred” of its cattle were second-generation or third-generation clone descendants. Of course, these only amount to an extremely small percentage of the continent’s total meat and dairy output, but that percentage could well increase as farmers continue to see the benefits of cloned livestock. I, meanwhile, will continue to assume that my first cloned-cow cheeseburger will make me leaner and more disease resistant. [NYT]