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But that’s not all. Producing more meat or milk per animal helps reduce farming’s ecological footprint by, for example, allowing for a reduction in the size of herds and lowering the amount of waste the animals generate. And cloning is already being used to help increase populations of threatened and endangered animals, such as the gaur and banteng, which are related to our beef and dairy cattle. Many scientists hope that, one day, cloning can help recover endangered species such as tigers, rhinos, and pandas.
Still, the activists’ antics have scared one group of influential Americans: the dairy and packaged food industries. Rising demand in the U.S. for organic products makes many food companies believe consumers will reject meat and milk from clones. Others fear a trade backlash from technophobic consumers in places like France and Italy. That’s why several major food companies, including the largest U.S. meat producer Tyson Foods, have already announced that they had “no immediate plans” to buy cloned livestock.
THEY MAY NOT have the chance. Ever since 2001, animal cloners have complied with a “voluntary” moratorium on selling food products from clones while they awaited FDA’s safety study.
Yet, even as FDA unveiled its final assessment last week, the U.S. Agriculture Department bowed to food industry pressure and asked to extend the moratorium until consumer concerns could be resolved - possibly as long as two or three more years. And Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski introduced legislation that would keep cloned animals off the market indefinitely.
Knowing that they are ultimately at the mercy of consumers and retailers, Texas-based Viagen and Iowa-based TransOva Genetics — two of three private sector U.S. cloning companies — developed a system to track cloned animals so that farmers, meat packers, and retailers who wish to do so can avoid them. John Kleiboeker, of the Missouri Beef Industry Council told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that “the FDA may say it’s not required, but consumers may want labels, so discerning marketers will do it.”
Kleiboeker is right, of course. From organic milk and fair trade coffee to kosher and halal meats, many consumers have shown a preference for foods produced in certain ways.
But, that is exactly why extending the moratorium is unnecessary. American farmers and the food industry have proven perfectly capable of segregating foods from various new and old production systems whenever a genuine consumer demand for it exists. Whether it’s religious, ethical, or environmental concerns, all that is needed is for regulators to make a science-based judgment on safety and then get out of the way.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?