The Food and Drug Administration will likely soon approve the sale of meat from cloned cows, pigs and other livestock. In an editorial, the Washington Post notes:
Cloning animals with superior genetics will make animal products better and less expensive. Breeders aim to grow genetic twins of animals with desirable traits—such as leaner, tastier meat—in order to breed them and improve herds over generations. The only difference between this technique and traditional animal husbandry is the production of a genetic copy at the outset. As more high-quality breeding stock becomes available, the value of such animals will decrease, lowering production costs. Americans who don't want to eat animal products made this way will undoubtedly have the opportunity to do so through niche producers.
Opposition to the cloning of livestock has proved powerful. The International Dairy Foods Association helped delay FDA action for years out of fear that American dairy goods would become less attractive abroad. According to the Pew poll, a large number of Americans object to animal cloning out of religious concerns, views that anti-cloning groups will no doubt exploit to distract the public from the scientific evidence. But the FDA's job, in this as in other matters, is to fairly assess the science.
Disclosure: No one from Big Cloning paid me to blog this item. I own no stocks in any animal cloning companies. Did you know that most apple and grape varieties are clones–even organic ones?