How Do You Want Your Sirloin – Grain Fed, Organic or Cloned?

When the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in early 2008 that cloned animals and their offspring were acceptable as consumable food products the resulting firestorm of debate was nothing if not loud.

From a practical standpoint proponents of cloning needed this ruling to add legitimacy to their work. If the cattle and pigs, which have been cloned, can be claimed as safe by the FDA then cloning experimentation can continue with the potential of grant monies from Universities and foundations.

What you may not know is that a fish and a tadpole were reported as clones in the 1950s and 1960s. However, cloning opponents are quick to recall the highly publicized first cloned animal, a sheep named Dolly. This animal was cloned in Scotland. This particular animal only lived to be six years old while the typical age for a Finn Dorset sheep is generally 12-15. The primary argument in this case was whether conditions for Dolly’s care contributed to the disease that claimed her life or if because she was a clone from an animal that was roughly six years of age Dolly’s body was essentially six years old at birth.

These and similar concerns are part of the complex nature of the cloning argument. In fact, the argument isn’t simply with the acceptability of meat and other products from cloned animals, but with human life.

There are some individuals who are apposed to any kind of cloning while others may object to human cloning while finding therapeutic cloning acceptable.

In therapeutic cloning an individual’s stem cells are cloned and the additional cells can be used on that same patient for therapies that may provide better health. In this case the cloning is derived from one person for the benefit of the exact same person.

In human cloning there are further divisions. There are those who perceive human cloning as a potential means of having children in the event of infertility while others view a cloned embryo as a potential means of harvesting embryonic stem cells for use in medical experimentation thus eliminating the potential for the embryo to experience life. Those who have cloned embryos for medical research view this process as a means of eradicating a multitude of diseases from the human experience. For more details please visit these sites:-

Because cloning is still relatively new there are some grave concerns over attempting to clone a human being. The concerns stem from the multiple experiments that went wrong previous to the success of cloned animals.

Is it possible that this type of experimentation could result in even one mutated experiment that develops a life that has some ability to function but is a life form different than what we typically think of as human? What do we do with failed human cloning experiments? Are they taken care of or euthanized?

If this sounds like something out of a science fiction novel I suppose it is. Jurassic Park was developed around the idea of cloning extinct life and other novels have presented dooms day scenarios for cloning.

Religious leaders disagree about the acceptability of cloning and the role of cloning in our culture remains on that will be contested with each new experiment.


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