Attack of the Clone Burgers

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The FDA has recently approved the sale of meat from cloned animals. Would you eat it?

Yes, cloned meat is the same as the other stuff. Get over it.
13
46%
No, the idea of cloned meat is just plain icky.
5
18%
I don't eat meat, so I don't care.
0
No votes
I don't eat meat, but I still think this is a sick idea.
1
4%
I approve of the idea, but I think all cloned food products should be so labeled so that consumers can choose wisely.
9
32%
 
Total votes: 28

lonesomejohnny
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Postby lonesomejohnny » Fri Dec 29, 2006 1:13 am

If I can kill it, I can eat it.

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Postby Chuck_Schick » Fri Dec 29, 2006 9:21 am

TheBookPolice wrote:The fifth option in the poll is erroneous because such a notice would not serve to enable wise choices. It would enable pitchforks and torches in the streets, wielded by those with less than discerning intellects.

For the record, I agree.

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Postby gargantua » Fri Dec 29, 2006 9:34 am

Remember the old saying, "you are what you eat"? So that means if you eat cloned food, you are a clone.

Oy.

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Postby small cheese » Fri Dec 29, 2006 10:48 am

Are they talking about cloning animals or the tissue? I assume it's the latter we're talking about. I'd eat it as I eat meat now (which isn't very often).

And for those of you starting to feel uncomfortable about drinking mass-produced milk, try soy milk for a couple of weeks. It's a little sweeter, but you get used to it just like you would if you switched from 2% to skim. I still buy and use milk when it's called for in recipes, but there's no way I'd ever drink a glass of it again.

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Postby narcoleptish » Fri Dec 29, 2006 10:57 am

small cheese wrote: just like you would if you switched from 2% to skim.


I got down to 1%, but skim reminds me of dishwater. And given the choice, I think I'd drink the dishwater. I would consider trying the soy though.

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Postby tibor » Fri Dec 29, 2006 11:02 am

Chuck_Schick wrote:
TheBookPolice wrote:The fifth option in the poll is erroneous because such a notice would not serve to enable wise choices. It would enable pitchforks and torches in the streets, wielded by those with less than discerning intellects.

For the record, I agree.


Choosing to avoid cloned meat is a pro-science position, not an anti-science one.

Only the ignorant and/or arrogant believe science doesn't march on. It's impossible to understand the long-term effects of something that's only been around a handful of years. Since the long-term effects are unknown, what's the big rush?

Cigarettes, DDT, mercury, cocaine, thalidomide, asbestos, vioxx - there are plenty of substances that were once deemed okey-dokey for general use, but long-term studies determined weren't quite as harmless as originally believed.

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Postby thebookpolice » Fri Dec 29, 2006 11:13 am

tibor wrote:Choosing to avoid cloned meat is a pro-science position, not an anti-science one.

Only the ignorant and/or arrogant believe science doesn't march on. It's impossible to understand the long-term effects of something that's only been around a handful of years. Since the long-term effects are unknown, what's the big rush?

Cigarettes, DDT, mercury, cocaine, thalidomide, asbestos, vioxx - there are plenty of substances that were once deemed okey-dokey for general use, but long-term studies determined weren't quite as harmless as originally believed.


I didn't say that chemicals, additives, potential allergens, etc, shouldn't be labelled. That's a different debate.

Do you, however, want all bagged spinach to have the following label?

NOTICE: The spinach contained in this bag may have been shit upon by farm workers, or watered using pig-shit-infested irrigation methods. Farm worker shit and pig shit have been shown to cause e. coli outbreaks in certain populations.

Because it would be true, and a valid warning. But would it actually server as a sober warning, or cause people to automatically fear the worst and stop buying bagged spinach?

We're not talking about making the choice. We're talking about labelling products to provide "notice" of certain production conditions that may or may not cause any risk at all.

My point is that such indeterminate risk is not, at this point, worthy of label notification. It would only serve to make people think the worst case scenario is going to occur each and every time they consume such a product. That is not a pro-science position. It's paranoia.

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Postby snoqueen » Fri Dec 29, 2006 11:25 am

Add to that list hormone treatment for women wanting to remain "forever young," and now certain medications for heartburn that evidently render the body unable to assimilate calcium and can result in serious bone loss after only a year of use.

There's a lot we don't know about the effects scientific "advances" can have on our bodies. Some people are more cautious than others, and sometimes that caution pays off. After all, some people questioned Crisco (hydrogenated vegetable oil) from the very start, and only now, 30 or 40 years later, are they being proven right. There's room for a range of caution levels here, just as there is room for a range of dietary preferences.

I think if people want to eat cloned meat they should be able to do so, and I think those who prefer to avoid it should be able to do that. So I would like meaningful, enforceable regulations on labeling. The reasons are not entirely scientific, though many of us doubt the ability of science to know all consequences of any innovation before we've lived with it for a while.

Part of eating is esthetic, and part of it is social. I would like to believe my lettuce, say, hasn't been watered with wastewater from a stockyard. Even if I washed it all off, I'd still prefer thinking, when I sat down to eat, that the food in front of me was grown in a clean environment and watered with clean water. Call me silly if you want, but dining is more than fueling up. Maybe this is a modern-day version of keeping kosher, where food preferences look quirky to outsiders but make sense in some terms to those who like them. Those who do not want to follow the corporate mainstream diet have a right to opt out and honor their own preferences and a right to the information it takes to do that. If some food can have a K or a U on it, why shouldn't other food have a label that affirms it was not produced from cloned animals?

Sure, we have to feed the starving masses on this planet and if it takes cloned steak to do that then we'll clone. This may not be the only way to feed everybody -- it's been calculated that if people ate no (or even less) meat, the resources it takes to feed domestic meat animals would easily feed the planet's humans adequately. The human race has a lot of choices to make here, not limited to "should we clone cattle?" We also have choices to make regarding genetic variation and modification of vegetable crops.

The social part of eating includes supporting people who grow and pick the food. Some of us enjoy supporting small farmers, or like food grown a certain way. Not supporting this preference amounts to capitulation to the large corporations that are threatened by those who question the healthfulness and dietary adequacy of the foods they produce. People who question the intentions of global corporations with regard to oil and trade but not with regard to food are being inconsistent, at best.

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Postby tibor » Fri Dec 29, 2006 11:31 am

TheBookPolice wrote:
Do you, however, want all bagged spinach to have the following label?

NOTICE: The spinach contained in this bag may have been shit upon by farm workers, or watered using pig-shit-infested irrigation methods. Farm worker shit and pig shit have been shown to cause e. coli outbreaks in certain populations.


Your example is a red herring - that's been a problem for hundreds of years, is a known risk, and nothing new. Apples and organic oranges.

TheBookPolice wrote:My point is that such indeterminate risk is not, at this point, worthy of label notification. It would only serve to make people think the worst case scenario is going to occur each and every time they consume such a product. That is not a pro-science position. It's paranoia.


Then we choose to disagree. If we don't know the risks for something, and enough people want it labeled, I think it should be. I seem to recall cigarettes containing very real warnings, and yet somehow, the Marlboro Man is still in business. If people aren't "paranoid" about those warnings, you really think they're going to freak out about cloned meat?

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Postby thebookpolice » Fri Dec 29, 2006 11:47 am

tibor wrote:Then we choose to disagree. If we don't know the risks for something, and enough people want it labeled, I think it should be. I seem to recall cigarettes containing very real warnings, and yet somehow, the Marlboro Man is still in business. If people aren't "paranoid" about those warnings, you really think they're going to freak out about cloned meat?


A) Cigarettes have a chemical addiction going for them. That's hard to "warn" away.

B) Look at Europe and GMOs. I'd say that mess qualifies as a "freak out."

C) Warning people against something we don't know about seems like the essence of bad science. It's faith-based labelling. "We don't have any substantial evidence that X will happen, but it's possible, so take note." When evidence comes in, then such labelling can be regulated. If companies want to opt in to labelling like this, it's their right. But I don't think there should be regulation demanding the labelling of cloned meat.

C) Yes, looks like we just happen to disagree on this. C'est la Internet.

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Postby Chuck_Schick » Fri Dec 29, 2006 12:25 pm

tibor wrote:Choosing to avoid cloned meat is a pro-science position, not an anti-science one.

Says you. I'm not convinced that you understand cloning, or, for that matter, the process of digestion, given the shitty "parallels" you cite below.

It's impossible to understand the long-term effects of something that's only been around a handful of years.

Cloning has been around far longer than "a handful of years," for one thing. Yes, there are some concerns as viability of the cloned animal go. There's some evidence to suggest that cloned animals may age faster at the cellular level than their "parents." This, however, would have positively zero heath impact upon you, the consumer.

Since the long-term effects are unknown, what's the big rush?

Do you eat meat now? Are you comfortable with the fact that the steak on your plate, when it was still breathing, was likely being pumped full of hormones? I ask you: If one could clone a cow that was naturally big and strong, and thereby preclude the use of such chemicals, would that not be a positive development?

Cigarettes, DDT, mercury, cocaine, thalidomide, asbestos, vioxx - there are plenty of substances that were once deemed okey-dokey for general use, but long-term studies determined weren't quite as harmless as originally believed.

Piss-poor examples, all. There is nothing about cloned tissue which results in toxicity. If you want to argue safety, you'd best come up with better reasoned objections. Again, the shit you're eating now is pumped full of chemicals. Cloning provides the opportunity to selectively propagate the biggest and best of the species and might very well result in safer alternatives for the consumer, ultimately.

I respect your concern for safety, but your argument thus far isn't based upon the science at hand, and is closer to fear-mongering than rational reluctance.

Your example is a red herring - that's been a problem for hundreds of years, is a known risk, and nothing new. Apples and organic oranges.

Says the guy who's likening cloned meat to manmade chemicals. Might wanna play by your own rules there, Tibor.
Last edited by Chuck_Schick on Fri Dec 29, 2006 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby gargantua » Fri Dec 29, 2006 12:25 pm

The only label I'd need is "This is a cloned product, or this is a product of cloning". Doesn't have to be a warning, just tell me what it is and let me decide if I want to eat it or not.

I'm really a bit surprised that there are people who don't want me to have the information, because, I guess, they know best.

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Postby thebookpolice » Fri Dec 29, 2006 12:32 pm

gargantua wrote:The only label I'd need is "This is a cloned product, or this is a product of cloning". Doesn't have to be a warning, just tell me what it is and let me decide if I want to eat it or not.

I'm really a bit surprised that there are people who don't want me to have the information, because, I guess, they know best.


There is no way to explain briefly and fully to the average consumer, the details of cloning and cloned tissue. Just saying "this is a cloned product" would be akin to saying "the elements contained in this product would be toxic if isolated and fed to you in certain quantities." Totally true, but completely underexplained, and likely to lead to unnecessary concern. Just because isolated potassium would blow my stomach up doesn't mean I should be frightened of eating a banana.

If there's no verifiable evidence that cloning leads to a safefy concern for food products, then there's no reason to force labelling of the provenance of the food product.

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Postby tibor » Fri Dec 29, 2006 12:48 pm

Chuck_Schick wrote:There is nothing about cloned tissue which results in toxicity.


I didn't say there was. You're drawing those lines, Chuck, not me. I said there are plenty of examples where science at the time thought something was just fine, but after a longer period of examination, that turned out to be wrong. Here's a non-toxic example for you - hundreds of years ago, the greatest scientists in the world knew the earth was flat.

Cloning probably isn't a problem. But food isn't optional, so asking to put a fucking label on something doesn't strike me as a big deal. Not when every plastic bag screams, "Danger! Choking hazard!"

And the fact that scientists don't know why cloned animals die young would suggest that we don't yet know all there is to know about it, yes?

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Postby thebookpolice » Fri Dec 29, 2006 12:59 pm

tibor wrote:Here's a non-toxic example for you - hundreds of years ago, the greatest scientists in the world knew the earth was flat.


LABEL THE PLANET! "NO FIRST STEP!" "OBJECTS UNDER YOUR FEET MAY BE MORE SPHERICAL THAN THEY APPEAR!" "IT'S ALL DOWNHILL FROM HERE!"

Come on. Examples are great. But let's keep 'em a little topical.


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