FDA: Cloned livestock is safe to eat

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by emw, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004

    Anyone have information on how much cheaper it is to have a cloned herd of cows vs. a naturally bred herd? Surely you can create more cows more quickly than you can breed them naturally, but the ongoing support costs must be the same. Of course, if the main objective is to use clones for breeding, I see even less of a benefit, given the potential consumer backlash against it right now.

    Just trying to understand the financial benefits of cloning in this scenario.
  2. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    Well, they still have to go through the normal gestation period, I'm not sure how much time they save.
  3. emw thread starter macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    I guess my thought there was that one cow could have one calf in any given gestational period, whereas you could likely clone many more in that same timeframe.
  4. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
    I'm not real keen on this "no label" idea. I want to know if the meat I'm eating (or milk, or eggs, or cheese) came from a natural animal vs. the product of genetic/biological tinkering.
  5. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    You have half of the equation now, anyway: Much if not most of calf production is via A.I. from sperm collected from 'superior' bulls, so 1/2 of the DNA is very similar the whole group.
  6. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    The cloned cows still have to go through the same process...one calf from one cow in one gestational period.
  7. Earendil macrumors 68000


    Oct 27, 2003
    I think the benafit for us and the cattle ranchers is the "quality" of the product. Ranchers (and humans in general) for years upon years have selected the best two animals, and attempted to get them to mate to produce a superior second generation. The exact same thing is done with plants (that's how you get seedless fruit). The difference is that now instead of waiting for a an animal to grow up, and see it's many attributes, you can genetically make those modifications before birth, instead of waiting generation upon generation.

    Humans have been breeding for genetics for a very very long time. That's how the lapdog came about, in all it's ug...errr.... "cute" renditions.

    Genetic cattle is just a faster more scientific way of doing what we've always done.

  8. Leareth macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2004
    I don't see what the concern is to the consumer
    they are not changing the DNA of the cows they are just photocopying them, yes the cows are going to be more vulnerable to epidemics because of the same DNA but its nothing new, like on of the above posters said virtually all market cattle are AI from one "premium" bull, this method creates "premium" cows

    I am more concerned about the unlabelled GM crops we consume even when they are labelled Organic....:mad:
  9. Motley macrumors 6502

    Dec 11, 2005
    The down side is that you're going to have a lot of genetically similar (identical) cattle. One bad disease and the whole lot dies (see the plight of the common banana).

    Genetic diversity is a good thing
  10. wozzlewoozle macrumors regular

    Jan 3, 2005
    I can't say that I've kept up with what has been going on over the last couple years. However, I do recall that there were/(are?) issues with some cloned animals being more susceptible to some disease and in certain cases undergoing accelerated aging.

    If these are still issues with cloned animals, I would wonder what the impact might be on the quality of the meat?
  11. Xeem macrumors 6502a


    Feb 2, 2005
    Very true; I don't think we should do anything to intentionally thin the gene pool of any species we rely on.
  12. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    Most these animals cant even make it to adulthood and the FDA wants us to think they are just fine to eat? Yeah right.
  13. dllavaneras macrumors 68000


    Feb 12, 2005
    Caracas, Venezuela
    Well, if you make 30 clones of a single cow, all the clones will be susceptible to the same diseases as the original. So if you have an epidemic, the probability of all your herd dying are pretty high. As for the accelerated aging, I recall it had something to do with the telomere caps (basically a single DNA sequence repeated many times, TTAGGG if my memory serves me well) at the end of each chromosome, which are reduced every time the cell duplicated. If the cap is completely reduced, the chromosome is degraded (as it's not protected by the cap). If you clone a cell with the cap already shortened, the life expectancy of the clone is reduced. The enzyme telomerase can regenerate these telomeres, and is being investigated as a possible "cure" for aging (although I don't agree with the term "aging" being used as a disease, thus the quotation marks)

    I could be wrong, and would be glad to be corrected if I am. I haven't brushed up on my genetics classes in over a year, so I'm quite rusty
  14. Earendil macrumors 68000


    Oct 27, 2003
    Well it's not like they would go extinct...
    And It's not like the entire world is changing their cattle genetically. Cows will be around for a very long time, especially if the Hindus have anything to say about it ;-)

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