Cloned Cows in European Groceries?

Grazing Cows

Thanks to a legal loophole, there may be unlabeled, cloned beef and milk products for sale in European grocery stores.

Cloned animal products must be approved before they can hit EU shelves, but, according to New Scientist, “this doesn’t apply to products from the offspring of clones.”

The thing that really surprised me about the piece in New Scientist was a paragraph about halfway through:

In an attempt to prevent cloned products infiltrating the European food chain from exporters such as Argentina, Brazil and the US, where cloning is much more widespread, the European parliament voted earlier this month to impose a ban on the sale of meat and dairy from clones or their offspring. (emphasis mine)

Good news for folks in the EU who want cloned animals off of their dinner plates, but I didn’t realize that cloning was so widespread here in the U.S.! When hospitals are trying to keep cloned food out of their kitchens, you’ve got to question the safety of these products.

Of course, one of the easiest ways to make sure you’re not eating cloned beef or dairy is to avoid those foods all together! I know that doesn’t appeal to everyone, though. If eating vegan isn’t for you, your best bet is to get to know the farmer who’s raising that cattle!

So what do you guys think? Do you feel like cloned food is safe?

Source: New Scientist

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by archeon

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3 thoughts on “Cloned Cows in European Groceries?”

  1. The problem I see with cloning is a genetic one. It seems that if cattle are cloned, and a virus mutates that can sicken these cattle, none of them will have resistance to it; whereas, with natural breeding (if you can call the current system natural), there is genetic variation, and some cattle will be more resistant to it than others.

    I guess I don't really see what problems cloning would solve in the first place. It seems like it could be argued that cloning could be a detriment to food security if such a virus or bacteria would come into existence.

    1. Yeah, I totally agree. What worries me about a lot of engineered food – GE or cloned – is how it's going to impact our food security long term. Diversity is a good thing!

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