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Do we know enough about our food?

10:55 UK time, Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Meat from the offspring of a cloned cow was eaten in Britain last year, the Food Standards Agency has said. What is your reaction?

The FSA began an investigation after claims that a British farmer had admitted selling milk from a cow that had been bred from a clone.

Scientists have said that there are no known health risks from consuming food and drink sourced from cloned animals but public concern has been raised in relation to the use of biotechnology in food production.

Would you eat meat from a cloned animal? Are you concerned about where your food has come from? Does science play too great a part in food production?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 6

  • Comment number 1.

    Why. to be honest do we ever question some of the things we eat when we're drunk?.
    How many people out there have came back in from a night out only to try and make something to eat like "Spaghetti and custard toast"
    So milk from a cow aint so bad when you think about it!

  • Comment number 2.

    NO we don't know enough about food, labels are often complicated and don't always include all infomation. E numbers approved by the EU are dangerous if mixed together, more research neeeds to be done before food and additives are released to the public, bring back old fashioned grown by yourself food.

  • Comment number 3.

    My only knowledge of cloning and other biotechnologies comes from bad 80s Sci-Fi therefore this scares me and it must be sick and wrong.

    Come on people, we've been genetically modifying and manipulating our livestock for centuries, this is just the next stage. We only need to worry if Arnie turns up.

  • Comment number 4.

    This 'Clone' story is the daftest story of the silly season.

    Firstly there is absloutely no evidence that food products from cloned animals have entered the food chain.

    Secondly, in many years of testing of food products from cloned animals, scientists have not found anything in the cloned animals that is not present in non-cloned animals.

  • Comment number 5.

    'Do we know enough about our food?' No; because the food 'industry' is strongly opposed to clearly labelling products and have been getting away with it for years.

  • Comment number 6.

    Milk from a cloned cow is most likely indistinguishable from any other cow's milk. Unlike GM, cloning does not involve replacing individual genes, so the same scare-mongering is unnecessary.

    Having said that, it should still be disclosed so that people can make a choice - albeit that a large proportion of people have apparently no interest in food quality, other than it being cheap.

  • Comment number 7.

    We never know whats in our food unless we've grown it ourselves.

    I'm deeply concerned that with all of the genetic 'tinkering' there's going to be very little food stuff left in a natural state. We don't know what the effects of GM/ cloning will have 5 or 10 generations down the line, but clearly some countries are willing to take the risk to put profit before safety & health.

  • Comment number 8.

    We know far more about food now than we did 50 years ago. Do you think food was "cleaner" back then? No, of course it wasn't. We probably ate and drank more dirt, carcinogens and contaminants but we didn't worry becasue we didn't know we were eating it. All we've gained from this fussy 21st century society is an increase in asthma, food intolerances and allergies becasue we're living too cleanly. I don't buy processed food because I prefer to cook for myself and family, but I would not worry about eating it if I chose to. Lots of people do not appreciate food anyway, so why worry about tiny issues such as this? We should be thankful we don't have to scavenge for rotting goat's meat like some countries' people do.

  • Comment number 9.

    If you have ever drunk milk produced by identical twin cows you have already drunk naturally occurring cloned milk.

    If you are an identical twin (bovine or otherwise) you are a clone.

    Assuming HYS does not have too many ruminant contributors those with only two legs might like to consider moooving on to another topic!

  • Comment number 10.

    It should be clear on the packaging where food comes from (not just where it was packaged)
    Thats the only way the consumer can make a choice in what they buy, supermarkets dont like this as they know consumers will likely steer away from what they probably make the biggest profits on.
    When I shop I try to buy organic food produced in the UK wherever possible, even if its more expensive, I can do this because its clearly labelled organic, less certain is the country of origin at times.

  • Comment number 11.

    Many people don't have a clue where their food comes from. I'm sure that it'll even be news to some that milk comes from cows in the first place, rather than a bottle in the supermarket.

    As for the news story itself, the source on this article is pretty questionable. With an anonymous source, it may have just been a slow news day and they needed something to sell their paper. There's simply no need to create a cow through cloning to produce milk. It's far cheaper to breed them conventionally. Journalists tend to be pretty terrible at science reporting.

    Anyway, I'll be waiting for the peer-reviewed literature to be forthcoming before I put much faith in the article. I doubt the food standards agency can tell a cloned cow from the non-cloned version.

  • Comment number 12.

    I dont believe the milk from a cloned cow is likely to be harmful but I dont see why we need cloned cows when nature is quite capable of turning them out the usual way. Stop tinkering with nature.

  • Comment number 13.

    I think drinking milk beyond weening age is a little 'unnatural'. To drink milk from another animal beyond weening age is worse. To drink milk from another animal who's been injected with hormones (which can enter the milk) to enable over production of milk is worse than that. The addition of the animal being a clone is hardly much of a big step beyond that.

  • Comment number 14.

    I am sure the Press wants us to say we dont know enough, this is terrible!!! But seriously this is just another storm in a teacup that the press love to in flame and make worse. Just like the MMR Vacine causing autism.

    I dont care if it is genetically modified, are not many of our breeds already modified through the breeding process and selection of new species.

    If you want 100% pure then grow your own.

  • Comment number 15.

    The whole point of a clone is that its identical to its parent. Milk from a 'clone' is identical to the milk from the parent animal. I'm far more concerned about the antibiotics and hormones in uncloned milk than this stupidity.

    Mind you the BBC don't know what they're talking about either... the reporter on the 6 o'clock news last night twice referred to 'Bull Cows'. This is the same as a "man woman"... complete gibberish.

    And in answer to #2 "Nicola Woodhead: bring back old fashioned grown by yourself food". How exactly am I going to raise my own dairy cattle on my 8 foot by 20 foot inner city back garden? I do well growing my own herbs never mind anything else. It takes at least an acre of good fertile ground to grow the food for 1 person. The vast majority of the UK has no access to soil suitable to grow anything at all.

  • Comment number 16.

    How many people opposed to biotechnology eat carrots? They're only orange because Dutch farmers in the 1600's manipulated them and force bred orange ones. They used to be purple.

    Eat tomatoes? Used to be the size of cherry ones and yellow. Cross bred by man to be big and red.

    Wheat? No wild wheat is anything like the stuff we eat. Rice? Wild rice is black.

  • Comment number 17.

    Many people do not know enough about their food. If they did they may not waste so much of it.

    Get the "big society" focussed on teaching people to make and cook meals to feed their families rather than just getting it out of a packet.

  • Comment number 18.

    Do we need to?

    Or, is this just another opportunity for 'those who know best' and have nothing better to do, to interfere with something else?

  • Comment number 19.

    I'm not concerned. I buy fresh meat and veg from my local farm shop, or butchers, and cook everything from scratch. I have not consumed a dodgy supermarket convenience meal in nearly 10 years. I have very minimal intake of additives/preservatives/E numbers.

    As for cloned cows providing milk. That does not bother me in the slightest.

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    Do we know enough about our food?

    Nope, I captured some sausages yesterday, they would NOT answer my questions, even when I threatened to burn them, so I did. Still not a single response.

    Maybe the Daily Mail could use their contacts to find out information from sausages, unless...... sausages ARE the Daily Mails main source of ALL their information and headlines/news storys.

  • Comment number 22.

    Where does our food come from?
    Milk from a man made cow
    Vegetables that cannot rot
    Bacon from a force fed sow

    There’s a lot going on
    That we don’t know
    That affects the food
    That farmers grow

    Science will save us
    Say the alterers
    A small change here
    A nip or a tuck
    We’ll change the genes
    Its all small beer.

    Will it cause cancer in our kids?
    Is I worse that drink or drugs
    Will kill as many as smoking
    Or just get rid of bugs

    Can we trust the scientists?
    To tell the truth about GM
    Or will they all just band together
    And leave it to religion

    To point out the dilemma
    That we face
    In making a decision
    That might kill or feed our race

    In the end we’re all dead
    So does it really matter
    If we speed up our journey
    To go a meet our maker.

  • Comment number 23.

    OH NOES!

    Another scare story with little or no basis. There is no evidence that milk form a cloned animal is any worse for you than "normal" milk.

    As with the autism/ MMR scam, there will always be individuals looking to blame their own/ potential problems on something else.

  • Comment number 24.

    I thought dolly the sheep lived for about two years after she was "born", then she developed all the deseases attributed to old and middle age. I didn't even know that real clones existed. Must be bad for you unless they have made giant leaps in the technology

    The Millibands are Blair clones and they are contending the labour leadership battle. Are these two bad for your health then? Was it clones or clowns?

  • Comment number 25.

    I fail to see how milk from a cloned cow is any worse than milk from twin cows and is certainly not as bad as real threats like BSE caused by factory farming. This is scaremongering nonsense blown out of all proportion to other issues in safe food supply.

  • Comment number 26.

    After a recent series on the BBC the UK is kept in the dark over food quality. It showed just how manufactures are allowed to seel junk because of the poor UK food laws.

  • Comment number 27.

    Personally I think we now know so much about food that we are constantly paranoid about what we eat.

    The simple rules are to eat fresh food and cook it yourself. If you eat ready meals or pre-prepared supermarket food with high amounts of additives and preservatives, salt, sugar etc, then it becomes impossible to try and deduce what is in it.

    As far as milk from the cloned cow is concerned, I am not really worried about the quality of the milk, but I am worried about the fact that we are playing with nature too much. The more we mess with nature the more it comes back and bites us.

  • Comment number 28.

    "The food manufactors in the U.K. are owned by some very big business companys who export sales makes the U.K. very big tax profits, many toxic chemicals in our food are know to have very harmful effects but are passed by the govt quangos, as safe? turning a blind eye? Trans- genic foods are allready sold in some supermarkets, and fast food outlets. Clone meat and fish is in the food chain, all have bio markers' {a virus} but at this time it is not know, the long or short term damage this will cause, as this is a new science the results are not know.

  • Comment number 29.

    I do like the fact that @23, PotatoLord is awaiting moderation.

    His wisdom in this should be interesting.

    Whatever they decide, whether it's good or bad, it will be different tomorrow.

    Eat and drink for later we sue whoever made us unwell!!!

  • Comment number 30.

    Given that there is absolutely no evidence that milk from cloned cows has been on sale in the UK, it's a bit of a hypothetical question, isn't it?

    Still, a great silly season story for the journos who have nothing better to do when all those nice PR people who normally write their stories for them go on holiday.

  • Comment number 31.

    Today we have more food intolerance,
    Obesity, high blood pressure, allergies
    Eczema, cancers, IBS
    Over used joints and diabetes.

    It it caused by the things we eat?
    Is our diet far too sweet?
    Do we need additives to give us a treat?

    Processed food has become a curse
    Modification only makes it worse

    Legal poison pushed in supermarkets
    Sugar, salt, refined white flour
    How many do they kill each hour?

    We make a fuss of smoke and drink
    But peddle obesity
    To people who don’t think

    Of the harm that’s done
    Eating a British diet
    High in fat
    And saturates

    Blame fast food
    And watch the telly
    Blame GM
    For your fat belly

    Drink some lager
    Have a ball
    The sugar turns
    to alcohol

    So is GM milk
    Such an evil
    When we’re already
    Possessed by the devil?

  • Comment number 32.

    There is probably little danger of milk from a cloned cow. There is probably more danger from the hormones and additives that are added into the food chain.

    The danger of GM food was not its consumption but the fact that big companies were producing seed that was not self germinating, reducing variety and required special fertilizers and pesticides tied to their company, all wrapped up in patent and copyright issues.

    If I was Chinese, I would look at the present patent and copyright system and say it needs to change and if India joined them, would the rest of the world be able to stop them?

  • Comment number 33.

    There are far too many additives, preservatives and `unnatural` food in the UK without any additions, far more than are accepted in Europe. I am unable to tolerate most of these found in processed food and therefore cook everything from scratch. It is healthier, has much more taste instead of loaded with sugar and salt and costs a lot less - whats more I dont feel ill after. The only milk I can tolerate is Lactose free so the prospect of yet another unnatural product could mean a load more issues. Why do food manufacturers constantly feel the need to tamper with food especially as food allergies and intolerances are on the increase.

  • Comment number 34.

    I was going to mention that eating responsibly by making your own food and seeing what goes into your meals will give you a good idea of what you are putting into your digestive system. But then I put down my well known energy drink and read the back of the can. I realised that I couldn't give a monkeys where my milk came from as I've suvived far worse 'ingredients'.

  • Comment number 35.

    We have probably been consuming food & drink from GM and other non-standard sources for years but never been told or found out. I'm sure there is more health risk from highly processed foods than from natural, even GM treated, unicorn meat & 2.5 veg.

  • Comment number 36.

    7. At 12:21pm on 03 Aug 2010, Queen_Becci_B wrote:
    We never know whats in our food unless we've grown it ourselves.

    I'm deeply concerned that with all of the genetic 'tinkering' there's going to be very little food stuff left in a natural state. We don't know what the effects of GM/ cloning will have 5 or 10 generations down the line, but clearly some countries are willing to take the risk to put profit before safety & health.
    =================================================================
    I wondered how long before an organic foody freak would start on about GM foods.

    I once heard this statement on Radio four, it is my all time number one stupid, pointless, vacuous statement ever......

    'alright GM crops would help feed the starving 3rd world and give us cheap food, but what about the unkown side-effects?'*

    We have always been altering food genetically, and have been for a couple of thousand years.

    There is nothing to fear, even if this milk did get into the food chain (which it didn't) what do you think would happen?

    Would we all suddenly grow horns?, start mooing, eating grass and standing in the corner of a field?

    Organic food is a con, a middle-class frippery, if it didn't cost more money and the poor ate it they would drop it like a hot potato.

    If you want to be safe then COOK, most people do not, cannot and so want labels that tell them the meaning of life, the universe, everything.

    (And before you say it I know it's 42)


  • Comment number 37.

    I feel that I can speak with a little authority on this matter - The simple answer is yes, people are not aware of the different processes that their food goes through, for example did you know;

    Cheese produced using a non animal rennet (i.e. suitable for vegeterians) uses a genetically modified rennet which does not have to be decleared on the label as the rennet is destroyed in the cheese making process.

    Common breads contain a genetically modified enzyme which is also destroyed during the baking process and so it doesnt have to be declared on the label

    Prawns & Scampi caught in the North Sea are shipped over the china to be bread/processed and then shipped back to the UK to be sold due to the cost savings

    Some smoked bacon & fish uses a paint brush to paint the smoke flavour on rather than actual smoking

    The list goes on and on and on

  • Comment number 38.

    Do we know enough about our food? I do.

  • Comment number 39.

    24. At 12:58pm on 03 Aug 2010, Graham wrote:
    I thought dolly the sheep lived for about two years after she was "born", then she developed all the deseases attributed to old and middle age. I didn't even know that real clones existed."



    Dolly WAS a real clone. She was genetically identical to the sheep who's cell was used to clone her.

    She lived to be 6 (sheep normally live to be 10-12) but died of lung cancer induced by a virus which is pretty common for sheep of her breed. She showed no signs of premature ageing and gave birth to 6 health lambs who all lived healthy lives.

    All this information is freely available on-line.

  • Comment number 40.

    33. At 1:29pm on 03 Aug 2010, AMC1809 wrote:
    There are far too many additives, preservatives and `unnatural` food in the UK without any additions, far more than are accepted in Europe...... The only milk I can tolerate is Lactose free so the prospect of yet another unnatural product could mean a load more issues

    For gods sake.....

    Any 'E' number is a European Standard. Thats what the 'E' stands for! Most E numbers are natural products. If used as a sweetener honey has an E number. As a preservative citric acid has an E number. Milk NATURALLY contains Lactose. Its the lactose free stuff thats unnatural.

    People like you posting hysterical rubbish like this are responsible for food scare stories.

  • Comment number 41.

    Peter_Sym wrote:
    The vast majority of the UK has no access to soil suitable to grow anything at all.


    Everyone in the country has the right to access land to grow their own food; most of you just don't know or care enough to find out where it is and how you can use it.

    Your local council is legally obliged to provide you with an allotment and we still have loads of common ground all over the country should you wish to graze your livestock.

    My allotments only cost £24 each per year in rent, the local stables are literally giving away manure to anyone who will collect it, many of the people on allotments are more than happy to provide new people with seedlings and cuttings to help get them started and the Hen Welfare Trust will give you chickens for free.

    I live on a council estate but I still manage to grow a lot of my own food by making use of my garden, allotments and the other local facilities that are available to everyone. It takes about an hour a day to keep on top of it but there are plenty of foods that you can grow that require very little maintenance if you don't have this much spare time.


    Allotment Association:
    http://www.nsalg.org.uk/


    Common land information:
    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/HomeAndCommunity/Planning/LandAndPropertyDevelopment/DG_10026177


    British Hen Welfare Trust:
    http://www.bhwt.org.uk/cms/

  • Comment number 42.

    Terrible and yes it does matter because that is how dangerous substances are introduced to the food chain and into what we consume and then we have outbreaks of diseases which cannot be explained. I am very concerned and worried. It is absolutley important that such food should be labelled appropriately so consumers know and can decide whether they want to buy it or not. I wrote about similar views and opinion on the introduction of GM food.

  • Comment number 43.

    Today we know more about food than at any time in history. The 8th centuary farmer might know exactly what his pigs were fed on, but did he know about tapeworm, flukes, the importance of properly cooking?

    As for cloning, what a load of sensationalist nonsense.

    I genuinely wouldn't care if my pineapple had been cloned from an aardvark's ear wax.

  • Comment number 44.

    37. At 1:46pm on 03 Aug 2010, Prymuz wrote:
    "Cheese produced using a non animal rennet (i.e. suitable for vegeterians) uses a genetically modified rennet which does not have to be decleared on the label as the rennet is destroyed in the cheese making process."

    Complete guff.

    Non-animal rennet is any substance that curdles cheese. It can be a plant extract like fig tree bark, nettles, thistles, mallow. Fetta cheese is made using an extract of thistle. There are a variety of bacterial and yeast enzymes that do the same thing too. In the US some strains of bacteria HAVE been modified to produce the same enzyme as found in animal rennets but so what? Its the same enzyme! Using microbes to make food is nothing new. How do you think you get beer or bread?

  • Comment number 45.

    9. At 12:30pm on 03 Aug 2010, steve wrote:
    "If you have ever drunk milk produced by identical twin cows you have already drunk naturally occurring cloned milk.
    If you are an identical twin (bovine or otherwise) you are a clone."

    You don't appear to have grasped what cloning is if this is what you think.

    Cloning is taking the complete genetic material from a single cell, transplanting it into an empty cell "case" and forcing the embryonic development again on DNA which has already been "matured" (or forcing a whole cell to do the same).

    It's more complicated than that and it's an ever changing field of research but clones are known to be at greater risk to developmental problems and medical issues than the original subject. Animals are much harder to clone than plants.

    A genetic twin is what happens when an embryo splits in it's early development so the DNA hasn't been forced into another cycle.

  • Comment number 46.

    41. At 2:03pm on 03 Aug 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:
    Peter_Sym wrote:
    The vast majority of the UK has no access to soil suitable to grow anything at all.


    Everyone in the country has the right to access land to grow their own food; most of you just don't know or care enough to find out where it is and how you can use it.

    Your local council is legally obliged to provide you with an allotment and we still have loads of common ground all over the country should you wish to graze your livestock.





    Yup, from the magic pot of land that just provides allotments to everyone who asks. Waiting lists for allotments are 10 years long here and I am not going to get the 2 acres I would need to actually feed my family.

    If I become a freeman of the city of Newcastle then I can graze my cows on the town common. Normal people cannot. Frankly it is far easier just to pay 35p at Tesco for a pint and let a professional make my food for me.

  • Comment number 47.

    To wander round your town centre and view the levels of obesity on display, it is plainly obvious that not only do we know our food, but we also enjoy it far too much!!! It would be fantastic if the current generation of 5-11 year olds knew what milk was, let alone drank it!! They are far too familiar with chips, burgers, KFC, Subway, Pizzas, Big Macs, Happy Meals etc etc etc. A bit late to be worrying about some milk!!!

  • Comment number 48.

    Terrible and yes it does matter because that is how dangerous substances are introduced to food that we consume and the we have outbreaks of diseases etc that cannot be explained. I am very concerned and such food should be labelled as such so consumers know and can decide whether they want to buy it or not. I wrote about similar views and opinion about the introduction of GM food.

  • Comment number 49.

    I forgot to mention. Cloning, by forcing "mature DNA" to do something it's not supposed to do can cause a higher rate of genetic mutation. There is a chance, albeit a really small one, that the cloned milk might not be fit for consumption.

    But since it's probably never been researched we have no idea what the consequences are.... IF there are any.

  • Comment number 50.

    Several comments on here are equating the cloning of animals by scientists to the natural cloning effect of say, twins. This is not the point. I want my milk to come from naturally born and reared cattle, not some freak conceived in a laboratory. I would also prefer that these boffins concentrate on finding a cure for cancer, dementia, the common cold and the human stupidity gene before interfering still further with our food. Leave it out.

  • Comment number 51.

    36. At 1:41pm on 03 Aug 2010, JohnH wrote:

    7. At 12:21pm on 03 Aug 2010, Queen_Becci_B wrote:
    We never know whats in our food unless we've grown it ourselves.

    I'm deeply concerned that with all of the genetic 'tinkering' there's going to be very little food stuff left in a natural state. We don't know what the effects of GM/ cloning will have 5 or 10 generations down the line, but clearly some countries are willing to take the risk to put profit before safety & health.
    =================================================================
    I wondered how long before an organic foody freak would start on about GM foods.

    ---------------------------------------

    I hate to pee on your bonfire JohnH, but I am not an organic foody freak, aside from not being able to afford it, I will eat pretty much anything that is put infront of me. As for GM/ cloned food stuffs, I don't believe enough independent research has been done in to the effects 3,4,5 generations down the line. If we keep tampering very little that is growing on this planet will be left in a natural state & there will be no way to turn back the clock.

  • Comment number 52.

    My advice on food if the sun and the daily mail say its bad for you its ok.

  • Comment number 53.

    Allotment Association:


    Common land information:

    ________________________________

    Both applicable to England and Wales only.

  • Comment number 54.

    Normal DNA and a modern scientific technique, nothing ammended or corrupted.
    What's to worry about?

  • Comment number 55.

    Who is 'we'?

  • Comment number 56.

    After the inception of package barcodes, content detail is squashed into tiny print. Ever since, a 'Miss Marple' look-alike appears in my kitchen to prepare food, armed with a large magnifying glass to read labels.

    On the face of it, milk from cloned cows (much as I find cloning unnatural) would look like it, smell like it, and likely be it. Information disclosing that fact should therefore be on the label. Would I then buy it? Probably not.

    I've never liked the mind-boggling scientific possibilities of cloning, believing if in unethical hands could be used to duplicate some ghastly historic figure, or unwelcome living person, simply from a harvested cell. No wonder the British Dairy Farmer alleged to have put such milk on the market wishes to remain unnamed. It's all quite sinister.

  • Comment number 57.

    #21 It's true, those sausages are tight lipped b******s! Might I suggest questioning more lightweight foods such as Kale or lettuce, these fragile individuals have no backbone and easily fold under questioning. I was lucky enough to have a couple of leaves of iceberg in my custody (custardy?) the other day and they sang like canaries soon as I got the french dressing out.

  • Comment number 58.

    This whole debate over GM and Cloning is absurd.

    We've been modifying animal and plant genes for tens of thousands of years. It's called selective breeding. If we haven't all turned to zombies due to an error in the largely random selective breeding process, why would the much more accurate genetic modification process do it?

    As for cloning, being opposed to it is about as stupid as political views get. If the original animals milk didn't kill you, why would an unmodified, carbon copy of that animal kill you?

  • Comment number 59.

    This is just a sensationalist scare story. Drinking the milk of a cloned cow will not make you glow green or give you cancer. Cloning is about creating an identical copy of an organism that already exists. If the milk of the cow that was cloned is safe to drink then there's absolutely no reason why the clone's milk would be unsafe.

    You might have an argument if the story was about a GM cow, which I imagine has a small chance of creating something like CJD in the process. My main concern over GM though is that it reduces variation and makes the species a lot more susceptible to things like disease.

  • Comment number 60.

    We should not be consuming dairy products anyway, cow's milk is for their calves, not humans, we are the only species that drinks milk after we have been weaned! Do not believe it is good for humans whatever is done to it, I certainly would never have given it to my babies.

  • Comment number 61.

    24. At 12:58pm on 03 Aug 2010, Graham wrote:

    I thought dolly the sheep lived for about two years after she was "born", then she developed all the deseases attributed to old and middle age.


    You remember those old 60's shows where the baddie discovered a way of living forever, but then it went wrong at the end and they went from being young and attractive to old and wizened, and often into a skeleton and dust in the space of a minute? It was exactly like that with Dolly the Sheep, except she wasn't a baddie.

  • Comment number 62.

    36. At 1:41pm on 03 Aug 2010, JohnH wrote:

    I wondered how long before an organic foody freak would start on about GM foods.

    We have always been altering food genetically, and have been for a couple of thousand years.


    Yes, we've been altering food genetically for a couple of thousand years. the process of selective breeding means that these alterations are made over the course of generations, not from one generation to the next.

    selective breeding certainly hasn't merged the DNA of maize with that of herbicide resistant bacteria, nor has it mixed rice DNA with that of daffodils and other bacteria, which is what GM is all about.

    incidentally, a lot of foods seem to be altered using the DNA of herbicide resistant bacteria. all that means is that farmers will be able to poison the environment with impunity. their GM crops will be OK, but what about when that stuff gets into the water table?

    I'm not bothered that farmers choose their best bull to mate with their best cow to produce superior offspring as that's intervention at best, the two animals can still breed naturally. the same goes for selectively bred fruit and veg. splicing DNA from fauna into flora is what worries me as it's a combination of genetics that could never occur in the wild, even by chance.

    I know you're convinced people who listen to Radio 4 and read the guardian do mate with trees, but it never produces any offspring does it?

  • Comment number 63.

    There is no difference biologically between milk from a cloned cow or milk from a selectively bred cow. We have been manipulating the genetics of livestock through selective breeding for years, cloning is just a more accurate way of manipulating the genes. The difference is we know exactly what we are changing through cloning, but we do not through selective breeding. This is not to say I agree with cloning, I just don't think it is any threat to human health. Cloning is a very hit and miss process. (By the way Dolly was not the first cloned sheep). Many cloned animals are born deformed and abnormal because they have failed to develop properly. I agree with cloning in order to make scientific advances e.g. better drug production, but I don't think cows etc. should be cloned just because they produce the best milk. Cloning is currently still cruel and it is too soon to be mass producing cloned animals. However, I would welcome back the GM tomatoe.

  • Comment number 64.

    I know plenty about my food, for example, in my fridge there is an onion called Derek, he's a pisces & loves long walks in the country and going to the pub with friends,his favourite films are Supersize Me by Michael Moore & Fried Green Tomatoes (beacuse it makes him cry). Derek is currently single & looking for a nice, like minded red onion (or other suitable veg) with GSOH & simillar interests so if anyone else out there knows their food as well as I do let me and Derek know and maybe we can make a salad.

  • Comment number 65.

    Truth be known much of the imported food we eat or drink is not what we expect it to be including the conventional food production,but we dont seem to be dying in droves?
    Those tree hugging idiots in our society who are a minority have cost the country billions in exports and pushed up the cost of our own food.We were at the forefront of this valuable technology including cloning but like in many other areas the "minority" got its way over the "majority" such is the crazy way our country is run.If the country is to make money again we have to be at the forefront of ALL technology including cloning and genetic crop production.Food is food and if we can grow it cheaper then try telling the majority who are hurting with rising prices that they keep on having to pay for the expensive way food is produced.Cloned milk-so what?

  • Comment number 66.

    If clone-based foodstuffs are to be sold, consumers MUST be made aware by CLEAR labelling that this is what is contained in the carton/package. Many people will avoid cloned products for religious or other reasons. I think that this will end up like GM - another unwanted interference in the natural food chain. You can eat it if you like, but I won't and I don't think many will want to given the choice.

  • Comment number 67.

    This is yet another example of the 'Bad Science' that the media, including the BBC, seem intent on forcing down our throats.

    Farming and genetic modification are almost completely inseperable, and have been since the first humans started producing crops in the fertile crescent.

    If the BBC is going to publish scare stories about cloned milk then can they please also publish some actual evidence, preferably in the form of a meta-analysis of all previous studies into the impact of GM in dairy production, so that I can make my own assessment as to whether or not to be scared?

    Unfortunately, I doubt this will happen, because the BBC would soon realise that there wasn't a story here at all.

  • Comment number 68.

    "Trans genic foods and cloned cattle and g.m. foods are now a fact and in every day products' in your local supermarket, and fast food outlet so Whats' the probelm? find out for yourself which ones. I dont' want legal trouble.

  • Comment number 69.

    On a slightly more serious note I'd like to ask why people become so hysterically organic whenever the evil that is science interferes with what they believe to be "the natural order of things" I would imagine if HYS had been around during the advent of modern medicine the boards would have been crammed with people advocating leeches, willow bark and amputations without anaesthetic! If we'd stayed in the dark ages then we'd all still be dying of scurvy & ricketts (& just out of interest are the "natural" hysterics users of toothpaste? read the ingredients on that tube sometime & you'll be back to brushing your teeth with coal dust)
    GM foods could be the revelation that enable us to put an end to starvation but people seem unwilling to give the process a chance because it interferes with some rose tinted view of the world that simply doesn't exist.

  • Comment number 70.

    We can consume healthy & non-poisonous plants but not what is manufactured in a Plant, simple solution.

  • Comment number 71.

    I'd like to see all the owners and scientists in food industries baked in some good wholesome magma, not especially for this 'scare' story but because, over the decades, they have found some pretty ugly ways to dress up their food products. We all know from experience money making is not always very concerned with the health of its victims.

    I'd also like some things done to the media, including the BBC, but there is another place for that.

  • Comment number 72.

    It doesnt help matters when companies can label food as a brand to give it an impression of being something it is not there is no such place as loch muir and there are no poultry farms in the village of oakham, these are just Brand Names. Premium in supermarkets is only premium in price not in quality or quantity. !suckers!
    ===========================================

  • Comment number 73.

    Peter_Sym wrote:
    Yup, from the magic pot of land that just provides allotments to everyone who asks. Waiting lists for allotments are 10 years long here and I am not going to get the 2 acres I would need to actually feed my family.


    If there aren't any allotments available in your area and 6 council tax payers request the use of allotments then your local authority has a legal obligation to provide these facilities for you.

    If you have a 10 year waiting list for allotments in your area then your local authority is breaking the law or those wishing to start their own allotment aren't following the correct procedures. All you have to do is send a letter to your local authority signed by 6 council tax payers, so it’s not like they’re expecting you to complete the Krypton Factor.

    And I don't recall suggesting that you should try to feed your whole family this way, I was merely pointing out that your previous comment was factually incorrect and that there are many ways for you to produce some of your own food, regardless of where you live. All it takes is a little effort.

  • Comment number 74.

    UK food standards are by no means the paradigm that the media tells us they are. We have lousy food, by and large - mostly processed, injected with water, containing "mechanically recovered protein" which would not be allowed in other European countries.
    Milk from cloned cows is simply another step down the rip-off Britain route we have followed for years and years.

  • Comment number 75.

    #58 - "We've been modifying animal and plant genes for tens of thousands of years. It's called selective breeding. If we haven't all turned to zombies due to an error in the largely random selective breeding process, why would the much more accurate genetic modification process do it?"

    Number 58, you are missing the point. This diary farmer is obviously evil and probably intent on world domination. I am sure he cloned the cow and injected the new evil 'twin' with some sort of evil bacteria with the specific goal of weakening the UK population, who as we all know drink at least seven cups of tea (mostly with milk) a day. We, the UK, would then be ripe for plucking and would soon be overrun by this naughty farmer and his malevolent bovine army.

    My step-son drinks a lot of milk, but it is only now I realise that this is the source of his second head.

  • Comment number 76.

    Do we know enough about our food?
    No, but who has the time to monitor their own food chains?
    We pay public servants to monitor and decide what is acceptable for us. Are you telling me these people are not doing their jobs, and therefore I'm supposed to take it on "voluntarily"?
    My reaction to potential milk from a cloned cow is not good because we simply do not know enough about cloning to be messing around with this e.g. Cloned animals live shorter lives than normal animals. So, let me ask you, do you want to offer this to your children?
    How come cloned milk gets (perhaps, maybe) sold in the UK but your Food Standards Agency is only now investigating because of information from the New York Times. In a product this potentially dangerous shouldn't the investigation have come first?
    As far as GM foods, I wouldn't eat any product that had been genetically-modified because those modified genes would then be inside me, doing whatever they were designed to do. e.g. The seeds of some G.M. foods do not reproduce. There's food for thought for anyone trying to get pregnant.
    All edibles should bear a Food Standards Agency stamp that is highly visible. Those that don't have this stamp, should explain on the packaging what is potentially unacceptable about their foods.

  • Comment number 77.

    It's not really the fact that it's milk from a cloned cow that worries me - what should be a concern is that if cloning becomes the norm then you reduce the biodiversity.

    Imagine if you've got whole herds of cattle which are clones of each other and a new strain of a bovine disease (TB for example) comes along and, unbeknown to us, the cow the herd was cloned from has a genetic make-up that makes them very susceptible to that disease. The result is the mass slaughter of entire herds of cattle and the loss of a source of food.

  • Comment number 78.

    9. At 12:30pm on 03 Aug 2010, steve wrote:
    If you have ever drunk milk produced by identical twin cows you have already drunk naturally occurring cloned milk.

    If you are an identical twin (bovine or otherwise) you are a clone.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Although twins are geneitically identical, they are not clones. A clone is a person or animal which is genetically identical to its parent.

  • Comment number 79.

    51. At 3:19pm on 03 Aug 2010, Queen_Becci_B wrote:

    As for GM/ cloned food stuffs, I don't believe enough independent research has been done in to the effects 3,4,5 generations down the line. If we keep tampering very little that is growing on this planet will be left in a natural state & there will be no way to turn back the clock.
    ====================================================================
    In the USA they spent $25,000 Million dollars on lawsuits that claimed electricity pylons caused cancer in children before they found out they actually didn't.

    In the USA they have had GM crops for TWO generations, number of lawsuits = 0.

    If you believe all the food scares, like this one, do not blame me if you cannot sleep at night.

    If you did some serious reading (the daily fail doesn't count) you would know that the gene they splice into GM crops is EXACTLY the same chemical (known as Te) that the organic growers spray continously over there beloved 'natural' crops.





  • Comment number 80.

    Do we know enough about our food ? There are a good many people who can't cook, won't cook. I suggest they aren't bothered as they buy their ready meals and take-a-ways. They won't sign the petition.
    I suspect many of us haven't the faintest idea why our cucumbers are straight, our tomatoes all the same size etc. Who has been tampering with those for years ?
    No, I suppose we don't know enough about our food. Unless we produce and grow our own.

  • Comment number 81.

    70. At 4:35pm on 03 Aug 2010, ian cheese wrote:

    "We can consume healthy & non-poisonous plants but not what is manufactured in a Plant, simple solution."

    Yes, my life would be much better without vaccines!

  • Comment number 82.

    Food labels should be completely clear and transparent. That includes cloning, GM ingredients, transfats -- you name it. Consumers have a right to know what they're putting into their bodies.

  • Comment number 83.

    This is, perhaps, an issue for cow politicians.

    Succulence.
    (no point, just a slightly sinister word the food industry uses on you once in a while)

  • Comment number 84.

    #72 Having the attention span of a goldfish, I don't usually check comment content, but was curious about your mention of 'Loch Muir', so had a look-see.

    The rudimentary search is an eye-opener. The wool's being pulled over our eyes regarding foodstuffs, CON-tents and mythical sources to make them sound more tasty than the real MacCoy. The UK food industry needs a right good shake-up - tell it as it is, where from, what's in it and while they're at it, reduce packaging. I'd rather know the contents than exaggerated imagery on fancy wrappers, that do not truly depict minuscule products rattling within, or opening instructions that invariably don't work.

    Now where was I ... ah yes, scissors to open this biscuit packet ...

  • Comment number 85.

    No, we certainly don't know enough about our food. For instance, I'd like to know whether or not that nice-looking cut of beef on the supermarket shelf has been fed with growth hormones/drugs or not, and if so, what those drugs and hormones are?

  • Comment number 86.

    "13. At 12:33pm on 03 Aug 2010, Jonathan_Kelk wrote:
    I think drinking milk beyond weening age is a little 'unnatural'. To drink milk from another animal beyond weening age is worse. To drink milk from another animal who's been injected with hormones (which can enter the milk) to enable over production of milk is worse than that. The addition of the animal being a clone is hardly much of a big step beyond that."

    Agreed. I also think that eating cooked meat, not dying from easily cured diseases, living past the age of 20, and writing is "unnatural". I see no problem with any of the above, so why should cloning or genetically engineering animals be a problem?

  • Comment number 87.

    It's a cow, yeah it's cloned but it's still a cow. It still consists of genetically untampered cow cells. Milk from a cow.

    People just grow up and stop complaining about science that will make food cheaper. We have 6 billion people to feed on this crap hole of a planet. Stop making it more difficult.

  • Comment number 88.

    No we don't know enough and i don't think we will know ever because there is always going to be something added to make food last longer and to make more money, If people are worried then grow ur own stuff and shop locally rather than supermarkets.

  • Comment number 89.

    #85 - one word - Succulence

  • Comment number 90.

    All I'm bothered about are the salt, fat and other nutritional levels in food. The packing should state nutritional levels per portion (packet size) and not the level per gramme of weight, which is highly misleading.

  • Comment number 91.

    “Do we know enough about our food?”

    There’s having information and then there’s being able to interpret it accurately. It’s all very well telling producers to put the contents of a packet of biscuits on the wrapper, but if the sum total of most peoples’ reaction is “OMG, there’s a really long word here, and it’s got an X in it, so it must be bad” then what’s the point? People have a duty to inform themselves about scientific issues which affect them like GMOs, and not believe the scare-mongering garbage which is apparently inspired more by 1980s B-movies than considered research. If people don’t actually know what GMOs are, or understand that most so-called “natural” organisms they consume are actually GMOs (through artificial selection domesticated animals and crops are completely different from their wild forebears, and have been for centuries), then what is achieved by telling them they are drinking milk from a cloned cow? They'll probably think they're about to become some kind of robot warrior for the EU's secret army. If people want to be ignorant, let them.

  • Comment number 92.

    What is "enough"?

    I know not to eat blue sweets.

    It's rather depressing to see the number of ignorant comments about "frankenstein foods". For thousands of years we have selectively bred wheat and animals to suit our needs, improve yields and use marginal land. The hysteria in the UK has led to expertise and investment in vital areas of food technology to leave. It's similar to the manics who deny medical researchers the opportunity to test and experiment on animals to develop new technologies and cures.

    GM foods and continued selective breeding offer hope of a meal to starving people throughout the world.

    I think it is morally indefensible for rich, well-fed people in Europe (it seems to be mainly a European thing) to attempt to deny food and technology to others.

    Those who are dead against GM and selective breeding would do well to read about wheat rust, its near eradication and (now) possible return. Then you can be frightened of a future where your children will not have enough to eat.

  • Comment number 93.

    Can people PLEASE get their facts right.

    It is not a cloned cow

    It is the natural born offspring of a cloned cow.

    There is a difference, ie 1/2 of it's genes came from a non-cloned bull.

    If you can't get basic facts right please don't bother commenting!

  • Comment number 94.

    Even if this milk has entered the food chain, does no-one understand that milk from a dairy herd all enters the same vat before being transported in a bulk tanker which will also collect milk from other farms.

    This is a load of rubbish being spouted here probably by people who happily eat processed food full of God knows what.

    If anyone takes the trouble to listen to Farming Today on the iPlayer about this perceived problem they will learn that the reasons cattle are being cloned are for good reasons such as combating diseases such as Foot and Mouth disease.

  • Comment number 95.

    If your food is industrially produced, eg most supermarket food, then you have really got no idea what you are eating.
    Do some research on the levels of contamination that is permitted is mass-produced food (how many mouse droppings per kilo of ground grain for instance - granry roll anyone?) and it'll amaze you.
    They may label ingredients, but how many of you read the label?
    Do you know what those chemical names mean?
    You see, you don't know what you are eating, where it comes from, how it is processed, how long it is stored, how it is transported.
    And, no matter how many regulations are written, enforcement is impossible.
    But, we're all still here so it can't be all bad, can it?

  • Comment number 96.

    www.notmilk.com have a look.

  • Comment number 97.

    Milk from a cloned cow is identical in all respects to milk from any other cow so it will cause no harm to anybody even if this story is true.

  • Comment number 98.

    I would seriously doubt that milk from a cloned cow would differ from the milk of the cow from which it was cloned. But the process of cloning animals itself raises serious questions of ethics and possible animal cruelty.

  • Comment number 99.

    It's probably a damn good idea if we DON'T know what is in our food! If we did then folk would be quite a lot slimmer - because we wouldn't eat the pap!

  • Comment number 100.

    New York times published this, the land of 90% GM food. Anybody go to the states and eat the food, why is it so abundant?

    Cloned animals - same as interbreeding causes problems, once the herd is in a few generations the problems will start. Milk from a cloned cow, it is only bad if the process to make the clone involved more chemistry than nature. We don't know how much goes into the system as it is mixed in tankers then milk storage containers. I don't even understand why we need to increase production as the UK has a surplus anyway - EU regulations again.

    Perhaps there is a need to go back to local farming rather than a few huge storage depots, our food travels more around the country than anything and it was probably farmed a few miles away.

 

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