Cloned Cattle as Food

November 4th, 2003

To the Editor,

I am surprised that even the business section of a reputable paper would limit the information carried in an article to mere quotes from businessmen drooling over a new technology. Not a single person quoted appeared to understood the science behind the technology of cloning cattle. No mention was made of the risks to breeding programs after a few generations of clones are mixed with conventionally bred cattle. Nor do they appear concerned with how to undo a bad result.

Instead of looking at cloned cattle, we ought to analyze this new breed of businessman exemplified by companies like Enron. The allure of short term gain appears to justify all kinds of risks taken with technology that looks attractive but denies the realities of the science that generated it. It is as if making a quick killing is all that matters and the top echelon can always bail out if reality rears its ugly head.

Very poor analogies were used. Michael Jordan’s “clones” would likely not reach a healthy adulthood or breed true in a conventional sense. A cow may reach market-place readiness earlier than before but what hormones and proteins will be present in the meat ending up on our tables? I doubt the FDA would rule in favor of labelling cloned meat products so the public could have freedom of consumer choice. Capitalism calls for consumer choice in a “trickle up” model, with those producing the best of the best being rewarded with consumer dollars and the largest share of the marketplace. When ignorance is mandated in the marketplace….well that calls for a different name other than capitalism!

America is a young nation that must look to the future instead of a present assumed by some to be ‘never-ending’. Yes, Virginia, there IS a tomorrow – and we will have to face up to it sometime.

Barbara Rubin

Categories: Houston Chronicle

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