Are Cloned Steaks Ethical? What About Kosher Bacon?

|

The FDA is about to approve the sale of meat and milk from cloned livestock and their progeny. How do various religions react to the idea of chowing down on endless series of steaks from the clones of award winning steers? For most, according to the Washington Post, it seems that if it was all right to eat the original animal it should be all right to eat its genetic equivalent. But what about putting some pig genes into a cow? Does that mean that the cow is not kosher or halal? One other hand, what if on some distant day it becomes possible to create a cud chewing pig with cloven hooves? Would such a pig produce kosher bacon and ham?

Whole Post story here.

Advertisement

NEXT: Hello Guvnor: More Pseudoscientific Scoring of Politicians!

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I’m surprised it took you this long to blog this, Ron 🙂

    I blogged it Tuesday night at Inactivist with the title “A snack of the clones.”

  2. “Would such a pig produce kosher bacon and ham?”

    Who the hell cares? If someone wants to follow a crazy myth of unwashed illiterate shepherds, let them figure it out.

  3. Bravo, Cynical Bastard. By the way, if tou don’t like genetic engineering, don’t eat cattle, chickens, pigs, corn, wheat or dog (my personal favorite). All aforementioned foods are the result of countless generations of selected breeding, a very slow way to genetically engineer.

  4. thoreau: My only excuse is that I was busy covering the ACLU’s conference during the past several days.

    I did write about this issue back on November 6, 2003 in my column “Eating Tasty Clones” at URL: https://www.reason.com/links/links110603.shtml

  5. OK, Ron, we’ll let you off the hook 🙂

    One thing to keep in mind is that the FDA drew a distinction between cloned and genetically modified food. A clone is the exact opposite of genetically modified. That’s a distinction worth keeping in mind.

    If anything, cloned food should be safer than other types of meat, since the animals will be standardized, with only the best ones (e.g. most disease-resistant) being cloned. That improved quality control should be seen as a bonus for people interested in food safety.

    Off-topic: FYI, Ron, you might want to check out this site: http://www.simmune.org

    It’s a piece of software that can be used to simulate cell behavior, with an eye toward the immune system.

  6. J sub d – thanks. This is exactly what I tell my students in Freshmen Biology: you’ve been eating genetically modified stuff all your life… and so did all your ancestors traced back to the inception of agriculture. Just because we can achieve results faster these days, it does not justify calling those things “frankenfoods”.

  7. I, for one, welcome our new bovine clone overlords.

  8. A bacon burger from one animal?

    Brilliant!

  9. The folks at Radosh.net might want to equate themselves with Harry Turtledove’s story, The R Strain, anthologized in Departures
    .

    “The R Strain” is a tale of the consequences of genetic engineering, specifically it asks whether a pig genetically engineered to chew its cud, thereby making it kosher according to the biblical definition.

    Kevin

  10. “If anything, cloned food should be safer than other types of meat, since the animals will be standardized, with only the best ones (e.g. most disease-resistant) being cloned. That improved quality control should be seen as a bonus for people interested in food safety.”

    Until a pathogen comes along that does threaten the previously disease-resistant optimized cows. See the banana.

  11. Isn’t it rich, isn’t it queer
    Eating my bacon-burger, drinking my beer
    And where are the clones
    Quick send in the clones
    Don’t bother, they’re here.

  12. A steak from a cloned prize-winning cow will go great with a stem-cell smoothie.

  13. Carried carrying Ron,
    Did you or anyone bring up the fact that the ACLU went to cournt to prevent the minutemen from exercising the right to speech, assemble and petition the government or were all you just a bunch of spineless hypocrites sucking up for the free drinks?

  14. About 20 years ago, I read a story in Analog (a science fiction magazine) about exactly the kind of kosher pig you mention. It’s probably just a matter of time before someone actually creates such a critter.

    I can already envision the lawsuits against people who fraudulently sell non-kosher pork as the kosher variety. That should make for some grand entertainment.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.