Skip to comments.Welcome to the Clone Farm
Posted on 11/14/2009 1:24:16 PM PST by GonzoII
ENID, Oklahoma (Reuters) - To the untrained eye, Pollard Farms looks much like any other cattle ranch. Similar looking cows are huddled in similar looking pens. But some of the cattle here don't just resemble each other. They are literally identical -- clear down to their genes.
Of the 400-some cattle in Barry Pollard's herd of mostly Black Angus cattle there are 22 clones, genetic copies of some of the most productive livestock the world has ever known.
Pollard, a neurosurgeon and owner of Pollard Farms, says such breeding technology is at the forefront of a new era in animal agriculture. "We're trying to stay on the very top of the heap of quality, genetically, with animals that will gain well and fatten well, produce well and reproduce well," Pollard told a reporter during a recent visit to his farm.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2008 approved the sale of food from clones and their offspring, stating the products are indistinguishable from that of their non-clone counterparts. Japan, the European Union, and others have followed suit.
The moves have stirred controversy about whether tinkering with nature is safe, or even ethical, prompting major food companies to swear off food products from cloned animals. But consumers are likely already eating meat and drinking milk from the offspring of clones, which are technically not clones, without even knowing it.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
Underwritten by Monsanto, thank you very much.
Nice Scottish Highlander you got there.
It sounds pretty cool, but I have to admit to being a little suspicious of it. No good reason, just a slight uneasy feeling.
Cloning, to me, seems as though it would increase the headaches of inbreeding. The problem as it pertains to livestock breeding is that inbreeding can cause small inherited defects to become monumental weaknesses. It would be even worse if multiples of one individual was cloned and being bred.
Sure, a breeder wants to maintain those desirable aspects of a particular animal, but inbreeding to improve a herd can lead instead to hidden genetic defects or aspects becoming predominant, like malformed hips, faulty heart-valves, etc.
Imagine now how cloning would just multiply that inbreeding problem.
Or could I be wrong? I’m a believer in genetic diversity within a breed as that tends to create healthier individual animals which inbreeding generally does not.
Will they be wearing white armor and march in formation?
I understand the different science, but since you don’t understand what I was try to say, I’ll try again.
By replicating one individual multiple times, genetic diversity within a breed is lessened and the chance of genetic defects increases. So for the purposes of breeding livestock it is detrimental to any attempts at improvement. Those Angus cattle that were cloned, well their owner may have been trying to prove a point, but from the health standpoint of the Angus breed it is a losing proposition.
You spoke of cloning for the purposes of organ replacement. From an ethical standpoint the thought of human cloning is repugnant and I’m surprised you brought it up.
I’m no genetic scientist, but as I understand it, cloning is making a duplicate of what you have. Inbreeding is when you are using two closely related creatures to create a third, and that’s when you have inherited defects or genetic faults come more to the fore because the offspring is getting the bad genes from both parents.
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