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Thu Jan 16, 2014, 07:09 PM

China Is Cloning Pigs on an "Industrial Scale"

China Is Cloning Pigs on an "Industrial Scale"
A new report by the BBC reveals that China isn't just experimenting with cloning—it's doing it on an "industrial scale." Which is at best interesting and at worst more than a small cause for concern.

Spearheaded by a company called BGI, the technology required to clone animals isn't particularly new, but the application to mass production certainly is. In a report for the BBC, David Shukman explains what he saw when he visited the facility in China recently:

The first shed contains 90 animals in two long rows. They look perfectly normal, as one would expect, but each of them is carrying cloned embryos. Many are clones themselves. This place produces an astonishing 500 cloned pigs a year.


It seems that the old fashioned way of producing pigs is inefficient. What does this mean for the food supply? In theory, they are just identical chunks of meat.

What do people here think?

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Reply China Is Cloning Pigs on an "Industrial Scale" (Original post)
Agnosticsherbet Jan 2014 OP
Scuba Jan 2014 #1
CFLDem Jan 2014 #2
R. Daneel Olivaw Jan 2014 #3
AleksS Jan 2014 #4
global1 Jan 2014 #5
mother earth Jan 2014 #6

Response to Agnosticsherbet (Original post)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 07:13 PM

1. Bacon!

 

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Original post)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 07:19 PM

2. I'm all for cheaper bacon. nt

 

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Original post)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 07:19 PM

3. Pigoons!

 




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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Original post)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 07:29 PM

4. I don't think the article is about cloning for a major food supply

While the company uses some of the cloned pigs for their in-house dining, they're not doing the cloning because it's more efficient to produce eating-style-pigs than the old way, but more efficient to produce laboratory-style-pigs for research purposes, where you may want or need genetically identical animals for control groups.

They're cloning 500 pigs a year, which is "industrial scale" in terms of lab techniques, and more efficient than one-off lab cloning, it's not about to impact our food supply any time soon. A little genetic variation is good on truly farm-scale industrial food production so that a single disease won't wipe out your entire farm.

Farmers have been artificially inseminating (yes, not the same as IVF, or implanting embryos) livestock for decades now, so getting the pork without the porking is nothing new.

Edited to add:

And, as far as I can tell, Fox News and the Tea Party have been cloning pigs on an industrial scale for years now too.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Original post)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 07:36 PM

5. BBQ Ribs Are Catching On In China.....nt

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Original post)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 08:27 PM

6. Cloned and perhaps fed melamine to up protein content, pork the other white meat...

What could go wrong?

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