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The North Wind

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

TIMES ARE CHANGING — FAFSA announced changes to its filing system in February.
Editorial — The "better" FAFSA
North Wind Editorial Board February 27, 2024

Cloned food a bad choice

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently gave the go-ahead for meat and dairy products that come from cloned animals to be used as food.

Personally, I don’t want Dolly on my dinner table.

Scientists have been messing with our food for awhile now. They made the soybean, the most genetically altered food out there. They’ve come up with tear-free onions, tomatoes that resist rotting and corn that can withstand strong weedkillers.

While all of these things make me wonder what exactly I’m eating, they still retain a somewhat natural feel to them. After all, they were all produced in nature’s own way, just tweaked a bit by human hands.

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But the idea of eating a cloned animal, an animal that was effectively born from a petri dish, is enough to make me just say no to meat, which is no easy task. I tried to exclude meat from my diet for one week last semester. I lasted for three days, living mostly on pasta and carrots.

Taking away meat would seriously impact my diet. I came from a meat and potatoes kind of family. I grew up eating meatloaf, roast beef, pork chops, hamburgers and chicken. Meat was always the main course. But the idea of eating meat that came from a cloned animal honestly, just freaks me out.

And if I couldn’t even last one week as a vegetarian, becoming a vegan would probably kill me.

Milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream and other dairy products from cloned animals were also ok’d by the FDA. Dairy products from a cloned cow are no better than meat from a cloned cow. I could probably live in a world without meat, but a world without ice cream is my definition of hell. Even so, using cloned animals in the world of groceries would effectively make me a vegan. I ate a vegan cookie once. It tasted like grass.

Scientists should be working on a cure for cancer, or trying to find a clean source of renewable energy, not cloning animals. Their work should better our society as a whole, and adding cloned animals into the mix is probably not going to bring about world peace. Just because scientists can clone animals doesn’t mean they should. Have they never seen “Jurassic Park”?

And the fact that the FDA has approved using cloned animals for food doesn’t make me feel any better. The FDA approves everything. Every drug that was on the market that caused any sort of lasting, irreversible symptoms was FDA approved. If it wasn’t, people wouldn’t have been able to legally buy it. Fen-Phen, a weight loss drug, and Celebrex and Vioxx, arthritis medications, all were shown to cause heart problems and all were FDA approved.

I believe that eating cloned animal products probably has no immediate health effect, which is what the FDA is saying, but I don’t believe that 10, 20, or even 30 years later, people aren’t going to start getting sick. It’s not natural to be eating an animal that was completely man-made.

And the argument that cloned animals would only be used for breeding is worse than only using them for food. If Buck the cloned bull and Cathy the cloned cow fall in love and want to settle down and start a family, their offspring will be the product of two man-made organisms. Just because the offspring of two cloned animals is begotten using sexual reproduction doesn’t make them natural animals. Their parents were made by people, not by other cows and bulls. And, since these offspring would have been born the old fashioned way, they would not be labeled as cloned animals. How far back would I have to research to make sure that the beef I’m using in my spaghetti sauce didn’t come from Buck and Cathy?

I believe science is a good thing. The world we live in today is a by-product of science. Life as we know it could not exist without the scientific advances that have come before us.

Our food, however, should not be a by-product of anything.

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