Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I Thought Kevin Martin Headed the FCC...

Not exactly surprising news here, but another of our esteemed public regulatory agencies has sold out the public in slavish obediance to its mandate to promote the interests of The Man, in this case Big Ag and Big Pharma. If you're reading this, chances are you've heard, or read, by now of the FDA's decision that meat and milk from cloned animals is every bit as safe as that from normal animals and need be neither labeled nor tracked. Never mind that most Americans don't want it and that most of the rest of the world won't import it. Never mind that the Senate has twice voted to delay the decision to allow for more research from the USDA and the National Academy of Sciences (the FDA decision was based at least in part on research provided by... wait for it... biotech firms such as Viagen and Trans Ova that own the cloning technology). And never mind the precautionary principle (remember Vioxx?). On the off chance that you haven't heard about this, you can read the Washington Post article here.

The Post article points out that meat from cloned animals isn't going to show up in your local Safeway tomorrow. The idea, apparently, is to clone specimens with favorable genetics and use the clones as breeding stock. Those animals' offspring are what may someday show up in your local Safeway (or more likely, have already shown up in your local Safeway; given the cloning industry's fast and loose approach to documention, it's likely that a fair amount of meat produced from the offspring of cloned animals has made it into the food supply by now - this from cloning industry officials, no less). In the meantime, for those of you who want to know more, the Center for Food Safety has a lot of good information on this, as well as a form letter, which you can edit, in support of the Mikulski/DeLauro Cloned Food Labeling Act, that will be automatically sent to your senator/representative (based on your zip code). These actually make a difference, even when sent by e-mail. I've just sent mine off, and I urge you to do the same (oh, come on, like you're not already on some FBI watchlist anyway)!

Oh, and if anyone out there knows of a creepier name for a company than "Trans Ova," please don't tell me what it is!

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