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Flawed Science - Cloned Resistance to Mad Cow

By by Glenn Ashton  Posted by Pamela Drew (about the submitter)     Permalink
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January 04, 2007 Edition 1

The article "Breeding breakthrough produces mad cow resistant cattle" (January 2) reporting that scientists have genetically engineered cows to render them immune to mad cow disease - or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) - notably overlooked the blindingly obvious.

It has been clearly demonstrated that the most likely way that cows got BSE in the first place is from insane farming practices such as feeding sheep and cows to cows. These herbivores became infected through cannibalism, perpetuated by human greed.

Now some bright sparks have come up with a solution, effectively rendering cows BSE-immune by destroying the prions where the disease is located. The corollary is that animal feed companies can revert to feeding ground-up beef and sheep carcasses to cows with a clear conscience.

What this solution clearly demonstrates is that science is completely blind to common sense and that if scientists can do something they will.

Anyone who has read books like Fast Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser, will know how little the international meat industry cares about animal welfare, ethics or the consumer.

And let's not forget South Africa imports ever- increasing tonnages of feedlot beef.

By providing a genetically engineered solution to the problem, science has effectively presented this disquieting industry with a get-out-of-jail-free ticket.

This is science and research that should not have seen the light of day.

But given that the US Food and Drugs Administration has recently granted permission for cloned animals to be consumed merely reinforces the perversity of this so-called progress.

Now that we can genetically engineer pigs to glow in the dark, perhaps bangers that can light up the fridge are the next tasty morsels? Sies; count me out.

Glenn Ashton Noordhoek Cape Times



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