Terry D. Etherton
Some groups still continue to spread information about animal cloning and whether food from clones is safe to enter our food system.
Groups opposed to cloning use communication tactics that are designed to scare consumers about the safety of food from cloned animals. These attacks continue even though in 2008 the Food and Drug Administration published Animal Cloning: A Risk Assessment, a lengthy document that concluded (based on the burden of scientific evidence) meat and milk from cow, pig, and goat clones, and the offspring of any animal clones are as safe as food we eat every day.
I find it remarkably interesting that there seems to be little concern by these activist groups about the use of cloning in the wine industry (by the way, the fact is that there is no basis for any concern). My point, however, is simple. How come the science of cloning is attacked in animals but not when applied to grapes?
Ever been to a vineyard and looked at the grape varieties? They are clones!! And, many vineyard owners proudly put up signs touting the particular clone(s) that are planted in each “block” of their vineyard.
To get a perspective about the incredible number of different grape clones used in the wine industry please visit the National Grape Registry, which is based at the University of California-Davis. One example illustrates my point about the prevalence of grape clones–there are 49 different clones of Cabernet Sauvignon listed!
Interesting paradox, isn’t it? Cloned grapes are “okay” whereas some believe that cloned animals are “not okay”.
My encouragement..enjoy your steak with a wonderful red wine (produced from cloned grapes) and think about more pressing societal issues than the application of cloning to the food system.