March 27, 2009

Are most cloned animals transgenic?

"Genetic modification is inevitable in the cloning process. In fact, premature death and disease outbreaks are common in cloned animals. “Genetic uniformity [leaves] them prone to disease outbreaks or even bioterrorism. With traditional breeding you’re trying to improve the genetics. Cloning freezes it at one moment,” says Rostov. The same is true for in vitro fertilization and artificial insemination".

See Cloned Meat; the Varsity
for this quote and other critical points concerning cloned meat.


ChristyACB said...

While I wholeheartedly agree that labels should be available, you should read the comments in the piece.

I'm actually a scientist and my first field was biochemistry and loaded down with genetics.

Cloning does not produce inbreeding. It will have only the weakness of it's original biotype. Artificial insemination does not create weakness or early death. I'm thinking that the 10s of thousands of humans that have grown to maturity after being born via artificial insemination or via in vitro might have some insight into that.

As for Dolly...she is the ONLY one who has ever shown any early aging and it appears that her egg was exposed to a bit too much light while being manipulated, which probably caused some problems for her.

Dogs, cats and all kinds of things are cloned with no problem and no early death. In fact, they are just as healthy as their scions.

Keep in mind that a clone of a healthy individual created via intercourse is just the same as the one created by intercourse. No difference and not inbred or any more likely to fall to disease.

Think of them like today's kids. Kids today are around surfaces wiped with germicides and never eat mud pies, etc. They are also, as a result, more likely to get sick when exposed to normal germs. Animals, whether cloned or intercourse created, that are raised in protected labs are far more likely to get sick when exposed to germs in the normal environment.

We can agree to disagree on this, I think. Wanting to only eat animals that are born via normal intercourse is a choice and there is certainly no judgement there. Labeling what is different is logical also. And I don't want lab raised cloned meat that was never part of an animal either: the so called Vat Meat, which is grown from an expanding network of fibers in an ever growing cloned glob.

But assisted reproduction is a saving grace for the planet and I'll be happy it is there so that one day we can see passenger pigeons or bengals or pink dolphins return to their rightful place in a world that we've denied them.

Peace to you.

anne said...


Yes, we'll have to coexist in our differences.

I see it as an industrial solution to the factory farming model. It makes sense for it. But like vertical gardens, it makes me sad.

Getting horizontal is fun.

It was meat I was referring too.
Talk about food security!

Plants are haploid (I think?) and garlic indeed is a happy clone.

anne said...

I only see the one comment there...the objection to the way genes are "frozen" in a cloned animal. Is this the comment you meant?

There is a strange genetic limbo...gene expression determined not by environment and "chance" (those who are religious may believe chance involves more divine input) but by folks in white lab coats.


Anonymous said...

Dolly is not the only cloned animal to show serious abnormalities.
Most embryos do not take (they die) and young cloned animals are not as healthy as their natural counterparts...probably because of epigenetic effects (google that).
Friend of the Earth have a good article on this:

Keep up the good work agrariangrrl


anne said...


I think this statement
"Dogs, cats and all kinds of things are cloned with no problem and no early death. In fact, they are just as healthy as their scions".

needs challenging. What about the epigenetic effects and the lack of early health and vigour of young cloned animals?
Billy's link is a good place to start.