Cloned Beef Burgers

Recently, we’ve been running a story here about how there’s apparently a big debate about whether or not meat from cloned animals should be used for food. Personally, I don’t see why the hell not. I mean, isn’t that one of the big happy go lucky benefits they’ve been proclaiming cloning would bring about? By cloning cows, we can produce enough beef to feed the entire world, or some shit like that. So hey, if it means McDonalds is going to start using real meat in their burgers, I’m all for it.

Anyone have a problem with eating the same cow five days in a row and not having to worry about spoilage?

No problem here. I never understood what the problem was. Imagine you are a cannibal and a pair of identical twins wanders into your village just before the yearly feast. Are you just going to say, “Eww, I’m not eating them. There’s two of them that look just alike. That’s not natural and I may get sick”. I didn’t think so.

It’s the same thing really.

Are we talking about cloned cows being raised like regular cows, or something like cow muscle tissue being grown in vats industrially?

'Either way, I would have no personal moral or ethical qualms about it.

Could you clarify, or provide an article with more info? I don’t see cloning as a cheaper way of producing meat at any point in the near future. A cloned cow will eat just as much as a cow made the old-fashioned way. The only benefit would be in having cattle that were genetically homogeneous, cloned from stock with high feed conversion rates. Still the cost benefits there seem fairly marginal even if all laboratory costs are very low. If I remember correctly, even excellent stock has a feed conversion ratio of somewhere around 1 : 5 or less (one pound of meat per 5 pounds of grain), whereas chickens are somewhere in the 1 : 3 range. You’ll have better luck “feeding the world” with poultry.

OTOH, if you’re talking about genetically modified cattle, there are several valid concerns to think about. IMO, none of them relate directly to the intake of the meat. Concerns would more likely center around genetic homogeneity of the livestock, which would make bacterial infection an even greater problem in feedlots (e.g. one virulent strain could wipe out an entire yard). That’s just an example. I don’t think the concerns are really as varied with cattle, but with other GMOs (genetically modified organisms) there are a multitude of concerns about the modified genes being released into the environment. One example would be of GMO salmon that were grown to something ridiculous like 12 feet long. There’s no way to know what would happen if fish carrying these genes were to escape and interbreed with wild fish (the GMO salmon were destroyed).

So… while I’m not concerned with moral implications, the issues faced when modifying gene pools get complex very quickly, so it’s important not to be cavalier in approving use of every GMO that is developed without rigorous testing.

And if you eat it on a sourdough roll, you’ve basically got cloned buns! :smiley:

If cloned food were dangerous everyone who ate apples and grapes would be dead…

Okay, so I’m exaggerating a little :slight_smile: but seriously, cloning has been around for hundreds of years in farming. The only difference now is instead of jamming hundreds of different traits together in hopes of getting the one you want, you can pick and choose the single trait you want.