Dolly's long goodbye
15th February, 2007
Four years since the death of Dolly the cloned sheep, her legacy very much lives on...
Ten years ago this month the world first heard of Dolly the Sheep - the first mammal cloned from an adult cell. And St. Valentine's Day marked the fourth anniversary of Dolly's "euthansia" at the age of six after a veterinary examination showed she had a progressive lung disease, a condition more common in older sheep.
But this double anniversary doesn't round off the story. Dolly's birth at the Roslin Institute in Scotland marked just the beginning of a long production line of animal clones that has included mice, rats, rabbits, horses, mules, cats and a dog. More ominous perhaps are the cloned cattle, pigs, sheep and goats. For, while Dolly's stuffed remains are to be found exhibited in Edinburgh's Royal Museum, the push is on to serve up the remains of today's cloned livestock on our dinner plates.
Just two months ago a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s draft risk assessment concluded that meat and milk from adult clones and their offspring are as safe to consume as those from standard animals. There has, of course, been no public debate about whether US citizens, let alone the recipients of US exports, wish to consume such fare, and surveys of US public opinion show a decided lack of appetite for...
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