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New York Times anti-cloning editorial

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  • Pamela Rice
    http://select.nytimes.com/mem/tnt.html?_r=1&emc=tnt&tntget=2007/01/06/opinion/06sat4.html&tntemail0=y&oref=login January 6, 2007 Editorial Safe as Milk? The
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 6, 2007
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      http://select.nytimes.com/mem/tnt.html?_r=1&emc=tnt&tntget=2007/01/06/opinion/06sat4.html&tntemail0=y&oref=login

      January 6, 2007
      Editorial
      Safe as Milk?

      The Food and Drug Administration's assessment that food from cloned
      animals is safe to eat is a victory for biotech companies and a loss
      for everyone else. Like many decisions on the cutting edge of
      agricultural technology, it was hurried along in a way that is more
      sensitive to political and economic pressure than to the long-term
      welfare of animals, humans and the world they inhabit. Asking whether
      cloned meat and milk are safe is not even the right question. The
      right question is, why clone at all?

      Approving food from cloned animals will create another food-labeling
      nightmare and the same aggressive litigation that usually blocks any
      attempt to tell consumers where their food comes from.

      But cloning has much worse consequences. It marks a revolutionary
      shift - from the relative randomness of sexual reproduction to the
      apparent uniformity of asexual reproduction. Because cloning creates
      genetically identical animals, it will shrink the gene pool on which
      agriculture rests, and any drastic shrinkage in genetic diversity
      creates enormous health risks for a species.

      Cloning isn't just a matter for the F.D.A. to decide. It is up to us
      as a society to decide as well. We should be asking much broader
      questions than the F.D.A. is able to. Who will cloning benefit? What
      will it do to the health of the animals themselves?

      But the most important question of all may be this one: Are we
      willing to judge the suitability of new technologies in ways that
      fully address their ethical and biological complexities? Or are we
      doomed to give in to politics and the bottom line?
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