The Food & Drug Administration is expected to give the green light to meat and dairy products produced from cloned animals. It is no surprise that biotech boosters like my friend Ronald Bailey cheer this development. Perhaps a bit more surprising is today's endorsement of cloned meat from the Washington Post. Even though polls suggest public unease with the idea of cloned meat, the Post applauds the FDA's focus on the scientific evidence showing the safety meat and dairy products from cloned animals.
Cloning animals with superior genetics will make animal products better and less expensive. Breeders aim to grow genetic twins of animals with desirable traits -- such as leaner, tastier meat -- in order to breed them and improve herds over generations. The only difference between this technique and traditional animal husbandry is the production of a genetic copy at the outset. As more high-quality breeding stock becomes available, the value of such animals will decrease, lowering production costs. Americans who don't want to eat animal products made this way will undoubtedly have the opportunity to do so through niche producers.