Bring in the clones.
You knew these were coming. Since the FDA approval, blogs and news sites are all hotly debating the safety of cloned meat and dairy products. A good round up of differing opinions can be found at Ethicurean. I agree, the safety of the consumption of cloned meat and milk should be carefully reviewed. Basically, it just ain't natch'ral.
This "ick" factor of the whole thing is disturbing, and as artificial a process of creation as so much of our other manufactured food supply. Which I also question regularly, and which has also been approved by the FDA.
But let's take a step back and look at the larger issue.
The "purpose" if you will behind cloning is to narrow the genetics of certain species for traits that are desirable to the food industry. Perhaps not me as a consumer, but we consumers seem to have lost our voice in how our food is produced. The process is designed to duplicate an exact set of genetics many times over into the species. In other words, limiting the gene pool. Decreasing diversity. Marrying your first cousin. [cue banjo music].
Even without the device of cloning, the diversity of our plant and animal food supply has been reduced by over ninety percent, 75 percent for plants alone, since the 1900s. GMO crops have created a "patent" system that profits from controlling diversity. Selective breeding practices have created turkeys that can barely stand on their own, much less breed naturally. All of this was done to serve the best interests of industrial agriculture.
Survival of the fittest is the best "biotechnology."
It doesn't take a biologist to recognize that this approach is not a good survival strategy. When forces of nature change the status quo, as they may well with climate change, there is little gene pool left from which nature (or man) can adapt.
Cloning is merely a mechanism, certainly a more powerful one than selective breeding and artificial insemination where you still have DNA from both parents. It will definitely speed up the process of limiting diversity. And it is that goal that should be questioned most of all.