Son of Frankenfood?
At first blush this seems likely to lead to a repetition of the controversies that surrounded the arrival of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture more than a decade ago. Back then an over-zealous industry (led by Monsanto, an American GMO pioneer) touted the benefits of a novel food technology. Scientific bodies on both sides of the Atlantic agreed that GMOs could be used safely, but politics halted their advance in Europe.
Could the same saga unfold with cloning? Once again the biotechnology firms sound a bit brash, much as Monsanto did. James Greenwood, head of BIO, the lobbying arm of the American biotechnology sector, bragged that, thanks to his industry’s efforts, animals have now been successfully cloned on six continents. David Faber, the head of Trans Ova, an American firm leading the charge, claims this technology will make possible ‘elite breeding’ that will lead to faster-growing, disease-resistant and genetically superior animals.
To activists opposed to cloned food, meanwhile, the FDA and EFSA decisions mean only one thing: Frankenfoods are on their way. Since the creation of Dolly—a sheep cloned by
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