Clones. It's What's for
Beef and milk producers
can legally sell you cloned foods without telling you. Here's what to do
In 1997, a sheep named “Dolly” was brought into this world with the use
of a new technology called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Ten
years later, the dream of biotechnology companies and venture
capitalists who saw Dolly as the beginning of another money-making
scheme has become a reality.
In December 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deemed
meat and milk from cloned animals and their offspring to be “safe” to
eat. Industrial factory farmers may now sell you a steak or milk from
cloned animals or their offspring without your knowledge -- no labeling
is required. The FDA is likely to make this ruling permanent by the end
of this year unless consumers take action.
Hundreds or thousands of cloned cows, pigs and other animals already
exist in the U.S. Livestock. Factory farmers have been experimenting with
the production of cloned animals for years.
What is Cloning?
Cloning is a technology for making a genetic replica (with the same DNA)
of another animal.
The benefit for producers is that they can take their best animal -- the
fattest cow, the most prolific producer of milk -- and make copies of
that animal, most likely for breeding purposes.
Generally, the process begins with a tiny piece of skin from the ear of
the donor animal. Cells are extracted from the tissue and grown in an
incubator for two weeks. Then the cells can be frozen and stored or used
immediately for cloning using an immature egg from a female animal’s
ovaries typically shipped from a slaughterhouse overnight.
The actual cloning involves removing the nucleus from the egg, which is
replaced with a different nucleus containing the DNA from the original
adult cell donor to be cloned. Once the transfer of the nucleus from the
adult cell is completed, the reconstructed egg has all the genetic
material (DNA) from the nucleus of the donor adult cell. The newly
reconstructed egg is then shocked with chemicals or electric current to
stimulate the cell division, which may take up to 24 hours. The embryos
that result from cloning process are placed in incubators. After seven
days embryos are selected for transfer to the uterus of a surrogate
female host (the mother animal). The clone is born resembling the adult
progenitor nearly perfectly.
What's the FDA For, Anyway?
While surveys show that Americans recoil at the idea of eating cloned
meat from cloned pigs or cows, the same Americans say that they would
eat cloned food if the FDA says it’s safe.
Here is the FDA's role, according to its own web site:
"The FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the
safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological
products, medical devices, our nation's food supply, cosmetics, and
products that emit radiation. The FDA is also responsible for advancing
the public health by helping to speed innovations that make medicines
and foods more effective, safer, and more affordable; and helping the
public get the accurate, science-based information they need to use
medicines and foods to improve their health."
But the difference between the FDA’s role and its slipshod policies
couldn’t be more contradictory. One example of their negligence is the
fact that 70 to 80 percent of all conventional food in the U.S. contains
genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Consumers have no choice in the
matter as no labeling is required. GMOs have been increasing in
quantity in our diets since 1997. Corn and soybeans, for example, are
heavily genetically modified and found in many processed foods.
This latest FDA ruling is no exception to its reprehensible exploitation
of the American public. And yet, many Americans trust an agency that has
repeatedly failed to protect them in favor of the financial interests of
commercial, agricultural, biotechnological and pharmaceutical
Let me say this very plainly: The FDA looks out for the interests of
agribusinesses and pharmaceutical companies *at the expense of* the
The labeling of foods as "GMO" or "Cloned" would not cost producers a
penny more. They would, however, enable consumers to make informed
choices about what they put in their bodies, and what their groceries do
to the environment. If you own a giant food company, then you can trust
the FDA. If you buy food for your family, however, the FDA cannot be
Because the government is failing in its responsibility to protect the
public, we must rely on companies to do so.
Dean Foods, the largest producer of milk in the U.S. (and the same
company that owns Horizon Organic, Land O’Lakes, White Wave and Silk)
announced this week that it will not sell milk or products derived from
cloned animals because of surveys showing that Americans don't want dairy
products made using cloned cow’s milk. The company does not, however,
have a position about milk from sexually reproduced progeny or offspring
Other companies, such as Whole Foods, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and
Organic Valley, have also said "no" to cloned animal products.
How Does Cloning Affect You?
Although, some scientific evidence suggests that cloned food is safe and
that milk or meat from clones doesn’t look different from milk and meat
from naturally conceived animals, other research suggests that cloned
food is cause for concern.
Mutations can occur with every cell division during the cloning process.
Healthy looking clones face genetic health problems at every stage of
their lives. And although some contend that genetic abnormalities are
not passed on to sexually produced offspring of clones, preliminary
scientific research shows that there are subtle genetic abnormalities
even in clones that appear to be healthy.
Ian Wilmut, one of the scientists responsible for creating “Dolly,”
warned that consumers could be at risk by consuming cloned animals with
any slight imbalances including hormonal, protein and fat imbalances.
The Human Genome Project Information
Cloning Fact Sheet says that
"cloned animals tend to have more compromised immune function and higher
infection, tumor growth, and other disorders." Further, it
says: " Japanese studies have shown that cloned mice live in poor health
and die early. About a third of the cloned calves born alive have died
young, and many of them were abnormally large." The page also lists a
short reading list under the heading "Cloning Problems."
We don't know the long-term effects when people eat cloned-animals or
their milk. Here's what we do know: Cloned animals are genetically
different from naturally conceived animals. There is something very
clearly wrong with them, biologically, and scientists don't know what,
exactly. They tend to be sicker, have genetic mutations, die early,
grown abnormally. Their bodies don't function normally.
But the FDA says it's safe enough for these science projects to show up
on your dinner table, and you're not allowed to know about it.
Even those who have no objection to eating meat and dairy products from
cloned animals have a concern about the lack of genetic diversity in
reproductive cloning. Monocultures of genetically identical animals have
higher risk of being killed off by the same disease. The risk of a
species vulnerability to a single disease is just one example of the
unintended behavioral and physical consequences of cloning.
All the foods and drugs now found (after approval and widespread use) to
be "safe" by government regulators, but later considered deadly --
cigarettes, artificial colors, trans fats, etc. -- should give us
caution about new food science approved for sale. We find out about the
health effects of these products only after millions of people get sick.
Did you sign up as a subject in an experiment to test the long-term
health effects of eating cloned products? I didn't.
Why Oppose Cloned Food?
Putting aside all ethical, moral and social issues, the simple answer is
that we don’t need cloned food.
As a nation plagued by lifestyle related illnesses, we are already
confronted with a broken food production system. There is something
startlingly perverse about a government agency -- part of the executive
branch of government headed by an elected public servant, and regulated
by elected members of congress -- that colludes with huge companies to
actively prevent people from knowing what they're putting in their
The FDA’s track record on their decision making speaks for itself. We
simply don’t have a functional government agency in which we can feel
confident that its decisions are based on hard science and irrefutable
The FDA is the same agency that approved GMOs into our food supply. The
same agency recklessly and irresponsibly approved the use of rBGH
(recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone) in dairy cows, which now is
produce health problems, including breast and prostate cancers.
What To Do?
1. Say no to cloned products. Never buy meat or dairy product from
any company that has not publicly taken a stand against cloned animals.
2. Stop the FDA. Find a
sample letter to the FDA here. And make sure you
write a letter by April 2 demanding that cloned products be labeled as
such. Also: Demand that the president and the congress force the FDA to
protect the public at the very least through labeling.
Go here to
contact your elected representatives.
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WORDS OF WISDOM
Guiding Your Thoughts
"Always direct your thoughts
to those truths that will give you confidence, hope, joy, love,
thanksgiving, and turn away your mind from those that inspire you with
fear, sadness, depression." - Bertrand Wilbertforce
GOOD THINGS IN STORE
Organic Black Bean
Although I very rarely eat
chips of any kind, I like to try new things I see at the store. I
recently bought a bag of organic brown rice & black beans
tortilla chips. They're made with stone ground organic masa made with
organic yellow corn, black beans, brown rice and sprouted yellow corn. A
little salty like most chips, but they’re very tasty. And, unlike most
tortilla chips, they taste great without any salsa or dip at all.
Green Carpet Rolled Out
a Santa Barbara-based company, displayed “The
Ultimate Green Room” for Hollywood celebrities and VIPs. (The
picture shows me with awesome Christie Communications CEO, Gillian Christie.)
Ultimate Green Room hosted eco-friendly companies that promote natural
living, environmental sustainability and eco
and provided a place where Hollywood stars could discover and enjoy
natural vegan food and experienced full spectrum lighting.
I had the opportunity to
attend the party, and tried some of the delicious vegan foods and beverages at the event, many of which I had never
heard of. Guests were treated to samples of
Frutzzo pomegranate juice; all
natural Indian cuisine from
Mr. Krispers Baked Rice Krisps;
Steaz Energy, the
world's first and only USDA Organic and Fair Trade Certified energy
drink and iZO
jUiCE. The Ultimate Green Room even showcased healthy lighting
from Full Spectrum
I did see a few celebrities
interviewed by E. T. and others. That was fun. The event took place
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, but the Thursday event was so packed with
interested attendees that you could barely move around.
To keep up with vegetarian, organic and health-related research
news on a daily basis, check out my
Vegetarian Organic Life
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Kale is one of my favorite
foods. It’s delicious and can be eaten in a variety of simple ways. Kale
is a super food because it's packed with nutrients and low in calories.
It has lots of vitamins A, B, C and K. It’s also rich in antioxidants
and minerals, such as manganese, calcium and potassium.
Here are some easy ways of adding kale to your diet:
1. Eat it raw as much as
possible to preserve its nutrients by adding it to sandwiches instead of
2. Add it to your vegetable juice or even fruit smoothie.
3. "Rawk" it (see below) by mixing it raw in a bowl or plate with any
piping-hot soup or meal.
4. Lightly sauté it for two minutes over low heat with a little oil,
fresh garlic, lemon juice, salt and black pepper.
Rawking -- a word I came up
with, short for "raw cooking" -- means semi-cooking something by mixing
it with a cooked meal on a plate or bowl. No direct cooking of the
vegetable ever takes place. The idea is to let it remain almost raw to
preserve its nutrients, but letting it get hot and soft by the heat of
the other foods only.
Here is how to "rawk"
1. Remove the thick part of the kale’s stem by holding the leaf upside
down from the thickest part of the stem. With the other hand swiftly
slide your fingers down the stem over a cutting board to catch the leafy
parts. Get rid of the stem, gather and chop up the leafy parts of the
kale into large bite size pieces.
2. Place the kale directly in a bowl for soup or a plate for a solid
3. Add the hot or warm meal directly on top of the raw kale mixing and
tossing the kale and the meal all together to allow the kale to soften
and absorb the flavors.
ENJOY VEGETARIAN ORGANIC LIFE?
SHARE THE JOY - FORWARD TO A FRIEND!
VEGETARIAN ORGANIC RECIPE OF THE WEEK
Lentil Super Soup
Click on the picture for a closer look!
(Vegan) Serves 6 - I love lentils because they
can be prepared in many different ways. These versatile small legumes
make wonderfully nutritious soups. This particular soup is simply off
the charts in flavor and a dear friend of mine who prepared a delicious
curry lentil soup for me inspired it. Rawking makes this soup more
nutritious (see “Food for Thought above). And best of all, the left over
can be enjoyed with increased flavor.
Preparation time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 35 minutes Equipment: Food
processor or blender
Get ingredients ready (use organic ingredients if possible)
1 tablespoon safflower oil
4 fresh garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
1 medium onion, peeled and cut in 4 pieces
3 celery stalks, finely diced or chopped
3 large carrots, finely diced or chopped
2 cups fat free vegetable broth (32 oz)
6 cups water (add more if necessary)
1 ˝ cups brown lentils (rinsed well, soaked for 5 minutes and drained)
10 ripe plum tomatoes, skinless (or 28-oz canned whole peeled tomatoes)
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon curry
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
˝ teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
2 cups edamames (frozen okay)
3 cups corn (frozen okay)
Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
1 bunch fresh Kale, stem removed and coarsely chopped (about two cups
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. In a large pot, heat oil over low heat. Add onions and garlic
sautéing for 5 minutes. Add celery and carrots stirring and sautéing for
5 more minutes. Add broth, water and lentils. Stir and cook over medium
heat. Cover with lid.
2. In the meantime, in a food processor or blender puree tomatoes along
with thyme, basil, curry, cumin, oregano, paprika and cilantro and add
to pot. Stir occasionally and continue to cook for 10 minutes over
medium heat. Set timer.
3. Add edamames, corn, salt and pepper. Mix well, cover with lid and
simmer over low to medium heat for 15 more minutes or until the lentils
reach the softness you desire (set timer).
4. For serving, prepare a
bowl for each person with 1 to 2 cups of chopped raw kale. Serve the
soup over the kale, add 1 tablespoon of lemon to each bowl of soup, mix
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This newsletter is not intended to provide and replace medical advice. The author and editor expressly disclaim all responsibility for any adverse effects resulting from any information, diet or exercise suggestions. It is imperative that the advice of a physician is sought before any diet or exercise programs are adopted.
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