miércoles, marzo 05, 2008

The clones are coming



Secretly videotaped footage by the Humane Society of America showing cows too sick to walk being forklifted, shocked, and dragged to the slaughterhouse has led to the largest beef recall in American history: 143 million pounds, 37 million of which went to school lunch programs. Although the recall only pertains to meat packaged by California-based Westland/Hallmark Meat Company over the past two years, the USDA openly admits that most of the recalled meat has already been eaten - fortunately without incident.

What's ironic, however, is that if we're so concerned about the health risks associated with eating sick or abnormal animals, why on earth has the FDA approved meat produced by cloning - a method known for producing significant abnormalities - for human consumption? The Center for Food Safety notes:

Most cloned animals born on a farm, outside a veterinary hospital, have little chance of surviving. Those animals that manage to survive until birth are likely to suffer a wide range of health defects and deformities including: enlarged tongues; squashed faces; intestinal blockages; immune deficiencies; diabetes; high rates of heart and lung damage; kidney failure; and brain abnormalities

Or, as Rudolph Jaenisch of the Whitehead Institute has noted, 'cloned animals have major dysregulation of multiple genes, so they are not normal at all.' Sound tasty, eh? Let's just hope that it doesn't take the USDA two years to figure out that it's probably not the best idea to eat this stuff.