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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 03:39 pm

Who benefits from cloning?

Government puts science in the service of corporate profits

Untitled Document Once again, science marches on — trampling right over us in the false name of progress and efficiency. The latest advance of science is the cloning of animals. “We can make every cow precisely like its progenitor,” exult the lab techs working for corporate cloners. “This eliminates uncertainty in meat production, for every cut can be the exact same texture, taste, and composition. We have achieved the efficiency of the assembly line inside the animal itself!”
Yeah, well, what about the little oddity of cloned animals’ having a startlingly high propensity to die before birth or shortly after? What about the abnormal rate of birth defects and health problems that clones have? Do we really want our families eating that? “Oh, tut-tut,” retort the clonists. “Don’t you know that the FDA has now declared meat and dairy products from cloned animals safe? Don’t worry, pal; the Bush administration has given the OK for meat and dairy corporations to market the cloned stuff to you — without even labeling the product as cloned. Trust us!”
Now I really am worried. Besides, we are lucky to have an abundance of meat and dairy products with a wide variety of flavors and textures produced by unique environments, farmers, and artisans all across our country. Why would we give up all of that richness for a cloned uniformity? There is a useful Latin phrase that we all should repeat whenever corporate science and government team up to push another technological “advance” on us: Cui bono? Who benefits? Cloning has nothing to do with helping consumers, farmers, the economy — and certainly not the animals. It’s just another shortcut to concentrate profit and power in corporate hands.
Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, columnist, and author.
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