The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Why is clone meat and milk not allowed to get into the UK food chain?  (Read 7649 times)

Offline Make it Lady

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4050
  • Hands-on fun for everyone!
    • View Profile
OH NO! run for the hills! The UK food chain may be contaminated by milk from cloned cows. The embryos were imported by a farmer from the US. Now as cows they have been milked and now this "NOVEL" milk could be at a supermarket near you. Apparantly you have to apply for Novel food status if you wish to sell Clone milk or meat. It should not be mixed with normal milk and meat products.
Is it just me or am I the only one that can't see a problem here. I'm not going to suddenly split into two MILs by drinking this milk. Although two of me would be useful sometimes. Can anyone see a problem?


 

Offline imatfaal

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2787
  • rouge moderator
    • View Profile
I'm not going to suddenly split into two MILs by drinking this milk. Although two of me would be useful sometimes. Can anyone see a problem?

I would say this might be a situation in which we should consider the precautionary principle - but people will jump down my throat.   

I can see no problem with milk from embryo twinned cows (take a zygote before any differentiation and quite literally manually split it into clones) - however, I would not dream of eating beef from or drinking milk of a nuclear transfer cow (take adult cow cell - put in empty egg - pray and do weird stuff to get it to split qv Dolly). 

With respect, the bovine farming community and associated scientific advisors have not covered themselves in glory in recent decades and there is a worry in 'regulatory circles' that expediency and profit are too heavily weighted.

my greatest worry would be that too much cloning and we will see a loss of genetic diversity and the possibility of disease spreading through the world herd in record time.

Matthew
 

Offline Mazurka

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 510
    • View Profile
I'm with Mathew - this is a matter for the precautionary principle - not an outright ban, but a degree of traceabillity (in case a problem occurrs) would seem wise.  My understanding of the controversy here is that there did not appear to be the oversight/ traceabillity that the law requires...

I would not have a problem with drinking milk from the offspring of a cloned bull (but I drink unpasturised milk so probably have a different approach to risk than many other people ;))

I have more of a problem with the products of transgenetic techniques (such as GM crops) as there are significant unknowns with respect to their potential effect on biodiversity - whether directly or indirectly through use of herbicide resistant strains.  Sadly the genie is out of the bottle so to speak.  I also agree that a loss of genetic diversity within particular species is also a concern.

Ths sadest thing however, is that the FSA (which was set up to give the public confidence in British food post BSE) is soon to be abolished...
 

Offline Make it Lady

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4050
  • Hands-on fun for everyone!
    • View Profile
The Government claims to be cutting red tape. I guess when the sh1t hits the fan, they will find a scape goat, and then put all the red tape back again.

I guess what I hate about this Milk and Meat story is the scare mongery and "mad scientist are at it again" stuff that the press and media do. I think science needs a good press Secretary to keep the facts out there, for people to have more understanding of the issues.
 

Offline rosy

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1018
  • Chemistry
    • View Profile
There's no conceivable way the offspring of clones could present any sort of threat. But after the BSE/CJD/mad cow disease scare, which could have gone Very Badly Wrong (but fortunately, it seems, didn't), the swing has gone the other way in Europe/the UK and the authorities are very keen to be seen Not Taking Risks. And indeed, keeping track of this sort of developement is a good idea because whilst this one's a non-issue others may not be.

I think largely this is a media issue not a health one, anyway...

The arguments that cloned pregnancies are at much higher risk of miscarriage, and clones are more likely (still, so far) to have other sorts of health issues means that there are animal welfare issues, which ought to be followed up. And the risk if too many clones of the same animals get into the population that genetic diversity will be (further) depleted and the resiliance of the population damaged means there's an argument that we should be trying to trace which cattle are from which lines of clones to avoid the risk that the whole population might be unexpectedly vulnerable to some particular risk. But as to food... storm in a teacup, honestly.

Hehe. The idea of "science" having a press secretary makes me laugh, though. I'm trying not to imagine the nervous breakdown that would result from having several thousand "bosses" all with competing and often contradictory stories and angles.
 

Offline Mazurka

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 510
    • View Profile
...
I think largely this is a media issue not a health one, anyway...

...
Hehe. The idea of "science" having a press secretary makes me laugh, though. I'm trying not to imagine the nervous breakdown that would result from having several thousand "bosses" all with competing and often contradictory stories and angles.
I think the consequneces of this are demonstrated nicely in the climate change "debate"...
 

Offline imatfaal

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2787
  • rouge moderator
    • View Profile
I'll do the press secretary for science for a year - just think of the consultancy fees monsanto and exxon would dangle in front of my eyes; ah, I think I have just found the problem
 

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8645
  • Thanked: 42 times
    • View Profile
There's nothing unique about cloned animals here. The rules say that you can't put new types of food on the market without safety testing.
They didn't test these"breeds" of cattle so they are breaking the rules.

Personally, I'm quite happy with the idea that I shouldn't get used as the "guinea pig" for this testing without my consent.
 

Offline LeeE

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3382
    • View Profile
    • Spatial
I would not have a problem with drinking milk from the offspring of a cloned bull...

Umm...
 

Offline Mazurka

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 510
    • View Profile
I may have had the very same thought as you. :o
The key word was offspring.
 

Offline LeeE

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3382
    • View Profile
    • Spatial
Oops yes - I missed the "offspring" part entirely, even though I thought I twice read it carefully.
 

Offline Make it Lady

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4050
  • Hands-on fun for everyone!
    • View Profile
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Looks like the Telegraph might have been doing a bit of cloning too!

"Our Aug 4 & 5 reports wrongly stated that the Food Standards Agency (FSA) had denied that meat or milk from the offspring of a cloned animal had entered the food chain. We now accept that the FSA never made such a denial. Our website incorrectly stated that the FSA’s budget for 2009/10 was £458million. As set out in our printed report, it was in fact £152million. We also incorrectly described the FSA as a quango; it is a non-ministerial government department."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/7939839/Food-Standards-Agency.html
 

Offline tommya300

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 655
    • View Profile
I believe in cloning there is a lose of something.
How many times can you step on a picture of a picture and still retain clarity.
Crossing the DNA of a spide with a goat and the resulting milk can be used to make a fiber that is stronger then steel.
Artifically grown tomatoes have a different texture then locally farm grown, it may not because of cloning but the word artifical and cloning I see them as the same in some way.

When agencies come in to the picture, it is a committee of persons, that predict and pass a standard of acceptance.
When the mess up and after the damage is done, all they do is chalk it up to experience.
If you want to have  chaos bring it to committee for a solution.
« Last Edit: 13/08/2010 05:29:28 by tommya300 »
 

The Naked Scientists Forum


 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums