We should farm cloned animals, says Dolly expert

UK - The creator of Dolly the sheep has called for farmers to take up cloning as a way of producing cheap food. Professor Keith Campbell believes the country's farms should be populated by superstrong, super-sized offspring of clones.
calendar icon 12 July 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
Dolly: Next it was pigs and cows

The US expects to be eating clone-farmed burgers, pork and bacon within two years, and supporters of the method say Europe must follow suit.

A US clone cow has already been born on a British farm for the first time, making Frankenstein Farming a reality. The intention is that the cow - Dundee Paradise - will be used to help breed Britain's future milking cow herds.

Professor Campbell said yesterday that this should be the first step to a far wider use of cloned animals to produce food from cattle, pigs, chicken and sheep. Campaigners insist that meat and milk from cloned offspring is identical to the food in supermarkets and should not be labelled. However, any attempt to deny families the right to decide whether they want to eat food produced in this way would be highly controversial.

One of the biggest concerns is the high number of clone-animal pregnancies that lead to abnormalities, miscarriages and stillbirths. Even in the most successful cloning systems, twice as many piglets are born dead - around 20per cent - as with existing breeding.

The clones could be created from cells taken from the ears of prized animals or even bodies going through a slaughterhouse. Clone-offspring cows would be bigger and able to produce more milk than those from current breeding techniques. Pigs might also be much bigger, leaner or faster growing, so making them easier and cheaper to produce.

Source: The Daily Mail

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