One Cloneburger with Cheese, Please.

posted December 29, 2006 by Jenn


Okay, so the newest uproar is about the prospect of meat and milk from cloned cows on the US market. Do you people really need something else to raise your blood pressure over? Oh lordy!… the FDA is trying to kill us, saying cloned meat probably won't need labels! Please… give it a rest. Plenty of anti-cloners want to point out the times the FDA has been wrong or misinformed about something it's ruled on in the past, like saccharin. Sure, saccharin has been known to cause cancer but then so does chlorine, which is found in the sweetener in Splenda, in your standard everyday tap water and swimming pools, where it is REQUIRED if the pool is to be used for swimming. One mustn't forget that equipment and testing conditions generally improve over time, and a test that was conducted around 25 years ago could have more accurate results today using the better methods and equipment. I would rather a test like that come out accurate than sit on data that was produced a ¼ century ago with comparatively inferior equipment.

Back to the cloning… Back to the cloning… what exactly is so scary about the milk from a cloned cow vs. milk from a regular cow? Is there actually something physically different about the milk? Is there a key difference in the mechanism that made it? If they eat the same grass, is it processed differently? Or are people just scared of the term 'cloned'? So far, it seems like that's it. It's all psychological. A few years ago, there was all this scare about the potential for a cloned human and there was so much negative press from so many sources, from governments to religious leaders and spokesmen, that the term 'cloned' has taken on a really bad reputation. So… tack that term onto something people normally feel safe with and viola!, instant evil. I'm sure none of the people who will give the standard "We don't want cloned meat!" knee-jerk reaction don't even think fully about what that concept means. If you want to get absolutely technical, a set of twins is a pair of clones. Would these people drink milk from a cow that was a twin? I'm sure they would. But it'd be cloned cow milk. Oh noes! Is milk from a bovine twin any better or worse for you than milk from two unrelated cows?

It would seem that many people don't realize just how much altered food they already eat and aren't aware of. Why is cloned meat such a big deal and cloned vegetation not? Take note: "The majority of the well-known hybrid vines [grape vines]… have been artificially created." Hybrid Grapes And this doesn't just apply to grapes. People need to realize that 'cloned' vegetation and 'genetically altered' vegetation does not necessarily mean that it's a lab product. You serious horticulturists out there! If you have ever grafted a fruit or vegetable bearing plant in your home or yard, you are guilty of genetic altering. And check this out! "One of the simplest and most popular forms of grafting, cleft grafting…, is a method for top working both flowering and fruiting trees (apples, cherries, pears, and peaches) in order to change varieties." Grafting To change a variety via graft, you take the one genetic signature and mix it with another, creating something different from the original host. In the animal world, I guess that'd be like successfully breeding a cow and a bison, a wolf and a domestic dog or a tiger and a lion. Same basic animal, but different specific type. I'm sure people would Be Outraged over the breeding of beefalo for meat, even though we eat both cow and bison already. And I'm not just picking on vegetables. Genetically altered meat is on the market, but not in the way most people think. Let's take the standard chicken. Commercial chickens have been carefully bred so that they are to be less likely to fly (less likely to make it over a fence or enclosure wall) and to be stronger in the legs (bigger drumsticks and thigh pieces for the hungry masses). Even your Organically Kept and Fed chickens are of these already altered varieties. We've just come to accept the already altered versions of the most common dinner-table chickens as what it should be. Standard and Organic commercial chicken breeders and farms wouldn't dare take the chance of their chickens having less meat on them, because that makes them less desirable and thus bringing less potential for profits. Can't hurt them profits, no sir.

So, with genetically altered food and cloned food being similar in the public taboo consciousness, let's run down a list of commercial organic and non-organic foods the hardliners should never ever eat:

Tell you what. You hardcore anti-genetic altering/anti-cloners can just not eat ANYTHING. In about 12-14 days with water, or about 5 days without, your problem will have resolved itself and you'll have saved yourself a LOT of time. OR. You can grow, raise and harvest many of the above listed foods and your own meat, if you eat it, in your own backyard. To your salvation, you can find some generally unaltered seeds at a nursery or greenhouse. Most of the altered stuff is copyrighted by a group or a co-op, so that no one else can use their version of the fungus/freeze/pest-resistant apple tree or grape vine. Just keep in mind, many of these au natural plants you'll grow will be much more likely to succumb to uncontrollable natural forces, such as pests or frost so unless you grow acres and acres of the stuff, you might find yourself hard-pressed to keep up. Or maybe that's what you want. At least you won't have to worry about what the food is and can worry instead about the crap in the water you give it and the crap in the air it breathes.

Pick your poison.