In December of 2006 the Food and Drug Administration ruled that meat and other products made from cloned animals is safe for human consumption. Does this mean that your next rib-eye could be just one of hundreds of identical pieces of meat taken from the same clones?
Not likely, at least any time soon.The typical cost of conventionally breeding a cow is around $2,000, and the current cost to produce a cloned cow is around $15,000. While the cost of a non-cloned cow is dramatically lower than that of its cloned counterpart, there are apparent benefits to cloned animals.
The use of cloning in the meat industry is really a way to breed the best animals. If you take a prime, stock cow and clone it, you can produce more of the same high quality meat that you would get off that cow.As of now, the actual clones are too prized for their genetic superiority over other non-cloned cows to take that long drive to the slaughterhouse. The clones are bred with other clones of genetically superior animals and their offspring are what’s coming to your supermarket.
We’ll be waiting a few more years, until the offspring of the clones mature, to see cloned meat in your marketplace.However, many supermarket chains across America are refusing to sell cloned meat products. With the amount of people who are still “iffy” or wholly against buying cloned meat, supermarkets are predicted to benefit from this (at least in the short run).
The problem with supermarkets refusing to sell non-cloned meat and animal products if the fact that, as of yet, there is no system in place to track where cloned meat gets sent. The FDA has a plan to track cloned animals, but not their offspring which is what will be released into the food chain.
According to the FDA report concerning this issue: “There is no science-based reason to use labels to distinguish” cloned meat from non-cloned meat.
But consumers crave information about what they are buying for their families. Not labeling cloned meat might hurt more than help the industry.
The higher quality of meat that is the result of the cloning process is a definite upside, but the lack of the public’s awareness about the process could hinder its growth.
While the FDA says cloned meat is safe, the judgment of whether or not the meat will be put into the supply system has not yet been passed. It will be a good few years before cloned meat makes it into our supermarkets; but if it’s so safe, then why has the judgment not been passed?