Have you already heard about the FDA giving the OK to sell cloned meat to consumers in America? You might think at first that this shouldn’t be a big deal because you would have the choice of whether or not you buy cloned meat, right? Doesn’t that make perfect sense, that cloned meat would be labeled as what it is?
Well, that’s what a sensible person would think, however I used to think that if the label said “sugar-free” that it meant the product really was sugar-free, which it doesn’t.
Same goes for the tricky labeling, “contains zero trans fat“. Each of these labeling examples has been given the OK by the FDA. Now we have the issue of cloned meat being sold on the shelves in America, and guess what….the FDA is stating that it is not necessary to label the meat as cloned. So my question is, how in the heck can you even make an educated choice as to what you are putting in your body?
An easy answer to this would be to go vegetarian, and there are many people who feel great and are successful living as vegetarians, however for my personal body, I function well with protein. Sure, I guess that I could switch to tofu, but I actually like lean chicken, turkey breast, and fish. I’m not so much of a red meat eater, which from what I’ve learned, is mainly where the cloning is occurring (in cattle), but if you eat a lot of red meat you need to be aware that you could be eating cloned red meat or meat from an animal whose ancestor was cloned.
The FDA is stating that cloned meat is safe to eat (link to Washington post, you may need to register for a free account to view the article), however the USDA requested that U.S. farmers keep their cloned meat off the shelves indefinitely. The thing is though, that it appears that cloned meat could already be on the shelves. The other topic is the question of whether or not cloned meat is healthy.
I did some research on this and found a PDF document that outlines the cloning process. It doesn’t resolve the question that I have of if cloned meat is perfectly healthy, but it does give you the information on the fact that these animals are “forced” into the world instead of naturally produced from regular animals. Honestly, I cannot make the statement that cloned meat is unhealthy because I haven’t found clear-cut evidence that it is, however putting that aside, the problem I have is with the labeling. Wouldn’t you like to know if you’re buying meat that is from a cloned animal??
Thankfully, there is a solution to this confusing issue of wondering whether or not the meat you’re buying is cloned, and that is to buy meat labeled as organic. According to another article from The Washington Post (to quickly find statement, search for “Can cloned meat count as organic”), cloned meat cannot be labeled as organic, so what I surmise from this is that if there is any chance the farmer is using cloned animals (which they would know), then they cannot label their meat “organic”. I am hoping that organic farmers are on top of where their stock comes from in the first place, therefore organic should mean organic (non-cloned).
I still don’t have a conclusive answer on whether or not cloned meat is healthy, although we know it’s not naturally produced. We also know that many of the clones die, their genes patterns are different from those of naturally conceived animals, and many actually look sickly (read more about each of these topics here).
Like I said above though, my biggest problem with this topic is the fact that the meat won’t be labeled as coming from cloned animals. It’s one thing if you believe that cloned meat is no different than meat from “naturally produced” animals and therefore you don’t mind eating it, but it’s another thing if you’re wary of it for one reason or another, and you don’t even have the choice in what you’re buying. Yes, you can certainly buy organic, but the issue with that is the higher price, when if the meat was simply labeled as non-cloned or cloned you would know what you were getting.
I learned of this topic in a blog post today, what do you think about the whole thing? Do you think cloned meat is fine to eat and no more healthy or unhealthy than non-cloned meat? Does it bother you that cloned meat won’t be labeled as such? Does this topic make you wonder what else is in the food on the shelves that isn’t disclosed to you on the label?