Concerned for food supply?

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MissyJ's picture
Joined: 01/31/02
Posts: 3218
Concerned for food supply?

Do you have any concerns about the food supply coming from cloned animals?

[h=1]US company in Iowa churns out 100 cloned cows a year[/h]

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

I don't eat animals, so... no. I'm not concerned. You all can eat whatever you want.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

Yes I have concerns, in that i just generally don't trust it. Too new and even when its not new anymore too unnatural. As I get older and it becomes more feasible we buy less and less of our meat products in the grocery store.

Kind of bothers me to think though that if it remains unregulated that I won't even be able to trust the sources that I buy our pigs from to not be descended somewhere along the line from clones.

I think even people who don't eat meat should be concerned, from a global healthcare perspective.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

I'm more concerned about the hormones being fed to animals to force them to maturity four times faster than normal. I'm more concerned about the antibiotics being fed to animals to counteract the crowded, dirty conditions they are raised in. I'm more concerned about the amount of pesticides being sprayed on the grains that are being fed to animals (levels that are much higher than acceptable for human consumption, oddly enough, even though humans will consume the animal the grain is fed to.) I'm more concerned about the amount of water used to raise animals for food. I'm more concerned about the quality of water being contaminated by runoff from feed lots and poultry mills. Injecting one animal's DNA into another animal's unfertilized egg to produce a clone? That doesn't really worry me much in the grand scheme of things because there's nothing about that process that is damaging either to the animal or the environment. And anyway, the cost alone is probably going to limit the use of this technology anyway. People want cheap meat and $20,000 per cow isn't going to last long.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

I could list a lot of things I'm more concerned about too. But that wasn't the question...the question was "Are you concerned"

Mortality rates are higher than for non-cloned animals at all stages of development, and surrogate cows carrying the cloned egg have more problems during pregnancy and delivery, said Hanson.

Not so sure that's something i want to be getting my proteins from...they aren't just like any other animal.

As for the technology is always expensive, whats not to say the costs wouldn't go down?

I do think its a little odd to be concerned about all that other stuff...and not be concerned about this too.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

They actually *are* just like any other animal; clones are nothing more than identical twins born at different times. The mortality issues might be related to the pregnancy troubles, and the pregnancy troubles might be more related to surrogacy than to the fact that the embryo is cloned. There's nothing different about the protein.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

"Spacers" wrote:

They actually *are* just like any other animal; clones are nothing more than identical twins born at different times. The mortality issues might be related to the pregnancy troubles, and the pregnancy troubles might be more related to surrogacy than to the fact that the embryo is cloned. There's nothing different about the protein.

Thats a whole lot of "mights" in there. RE: The bold, the article says higher mortality rates at all stages of development. Is this your expert opinion? Not trying to be sassy....just seems to be conjecture more than anything else.

Is this the type of process that is used to do this? Or something similar?

Reproductive cloning usually employs a technique called somatic cell nuclear transfer. Researchers first take a somatic cell (any cell in the body other than a sperm or egg) from the creature they plan to clone, extract the cell's nucleus, which contains the cell's nuclear DNA, and discard the rest. They then remove the nucleus of an egg cell and insert the somatic cell nucleus in its place. Next, they treat the reconstructed egg with chemicals or electricity to stimulate cell division. If the egg divides normally and forms a blastocyst (a small clump of cells that forms after an egg is fertilized), scientists will transfer it into a surrogate mother to develop into a new animal.

You don't see any potential in that process that might compromise the outcome? I guess I would disagree with that in my own very not expert opinion.

I lost the page i took the above explanation from.

This info is from the humane society:

Few cloned animals are born healthy. Cloned animals rarely survive birth. Of the few who are born alive, many suffer health problems and die soon thereafter. One pet cloning company CEO has stated that 15-45 percent of cloned cats who are born alive will die within 30 days.

The long-term health of cloned animals is unknown. No cloned cat or dog has lived a full lifespan, so the health problems and veterinary needs they may experience later in life are completely unknown.

Are they talking about a different type of procedure? Or a similar one. This doesn't sound like something as simple as 'pregnancy problems' to me....does it to you? I would imagine it might not be as reliable of a process...due to the fact that they are talking about pet cloning. I'll see if i can find some better statistics.

Why does the European commission proposing a ban on cloning animals used for food?

I think the truth is, its not confirmed why they have higher mortality rates and more pregnancy problems. So yeah...its a food concern for me.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

Here's one from the univesrity of Utah

What are the Risks of Cloning?

Cloning animals through somatic cell nuclear transfer is simply inefficient. The success rate ranges from 0.1 percent to 3 percent, which means that for every 1000 tries, only one to 30 clones are made. Or you can look at it as 970 to 999 failures in 1000 tries.

Here are some reasons:

The enucleated egg and the transferred nucleus may not be compatible
An egg with a newly transferred nucleus may not begin to divide or develop properly
Implantation of the embryo into the surrogate mother might fail
The pregnancy itself might fail

Cloned animals that do survive tend to be much bigger at birth than their natural counterparts. Scientists call this "Large Offspring Syndrome" (LOS). Clones with LOS have abnormally large organs. This can lead to breathing, blood flow and other problems.

Because LOS doesn't always occur, scientists cannot reliably predict whether it will happen in any given clone. Also, some clones without LOS have developed kidney or brain malformations and impaired immune systems, which can cause problems later in life.

Are the surviving clones really clones? The clones look like the originals, and their DNA sequences are identical. But will the clone express the right genes at the right time?

In Click and Clone, we saw that one challenge is to re-program the transferred nucleus to behave as though it belongs in a very early embryonic cell. This mimics natural development, which starts when a sperm fertilizes an egg.

In a naturally-created embryo, the DNA is programmed to express a certain set of genes. Later on, as the embryonic cells begin to differentiate, the program changes. For every type of differentiated cell - skin, blood, bone or nerve, for example - this program is different.

In cloning, the transferred nucleus doesn't have the same program as a natural embryo. It is up to the scientist to reprogram the nucleus, like teaching an old dog new tricks. Complete reprogramming is needed for normal or near-normal development. Incomplete programming will cause the embryo to develop abnormally or fail.

As cells divide, their chromosomes get shorter. This is because the DNA sequences at both ends of a chromosome, called telomeres, shrink in length every time the DNA is copied. The older the animal is, the shorter its telomeres will be, because the cells have divided many, many times. This is a natural part of aging.

So, what happens to the clone if its transferred nucleus is already pretty old? Will the shortened telomeres affect its development or lifespan?

When scientists looked at the telomere lengths of cloned animals, they found no clear answers. Chromosomes from cloned cattle or mice had longer telomeres than normal. These cells showed other signs of youth and seemed to have an extended lifespan compared with cells from a naturally conceived cow. On the other hand, Dolly the sheep's chromosomes had shorter telomere lengths than normal. This means that Dolly's cells were aging faster than the cells from a normal sheep.

To date, scientists aren't sure why cloned animals show differences in telomere length.

Yeah, i don't think i buy the 'Its just a twin' thing.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1535

Yes, I am very concerned about this. I think in time we will start to see health issues arise in people from this just as we have seen issues arise when animals are given growth hormones and antibiotics.

We share a side of beef every year with some friends that have property for our animal to graze on, whenever I hear things like this I am very happy I dont have to buy feed lot cattle

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

I am concerned about all of it.. from glyphosphates being sprayed.. to fecal matter being found.. to the way the chickens are housed in warehouses.. from antibiotics to this...

I try and feed my family as healthy as possible but yes I do still eat cheetos and processed icecream now and then. :S

But I know BHT and TSP is in some cereal so I read the packaging so I can still buy processed cereal and feel ok about feeding it to my family.

I like cheetos more than doritoes because it actually has real cheese and not Red Dye 40.. :S

Sometimes I eat things I shouldn't but at least I know and can make the choice.. and I am learning more and more... ie the way tea bags are processed..

For meat I do try and bulk buy organic grass fed from a local farm like Lisa.