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Cloned beef and harm to animals

January 12, 2007

Re "Have another burger," editorial, Jan. 6

In mystifying fashion, The Times acknowledges that cloning animals results in a higher rate of deformities and early deaths, then defends the practice anyway. In a culture that relies on cruel factory farms, this fact is merely a blip on the paper's moral radar.

As long as the end product doesn't harm human health, any harm to animals is apparently irrelevant. To say nothing of whether organic, hormone-free meat and dairy products are healthier, they are almost always produced in a manner that is vastly more humane compared with mainstream livestock production, which annually results in the outright torture of millions of cows, chickens and pigs in the name of cheap meat.

It may well be that cloned meat does not have a unique effect on human health. But make no mistake, the method is just the latest example of disregard for any living being that doesn't walk on two legs or know how to fetch a ball.

HEATHER MELIA

Huntington Beach

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So the scientific community believes there's nothing wrong with eating cloned beef. Is this the same scientific community that once urged us to consume trans fat margarine as a healthier alternative to butter, only to later discover that trans fat is worse for our health? Is this the same scientific community that could see no wrong in feeding bovine brain tissue to cows until mad cow disease started to crop up in humans?

I am not willing to trust the wisdom of the scientific community. Label cloned beef; slap enormous fines on those cattle growers who clone animals without ensuring appropriate labeling; and let The Times' editors eat all the cloned beef they want until we see what the results are in two or three generations. If this makes beef more expensive, so be it. We're fat enough already; we could stand to eat a little less.

IRENE LIVADOPOULOS

Beverly Hills

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Americans have to accept various scientific advances as they arrive, though some do so more slowly and with more reluctance than others. The cloning of cows is the latest.

For many, the widespread use of antibiotics and hormones in the beef and dairy industry is an important issue. In addition, the well-being of the animal that gives its life for our meals is also of key importance. Farm animals should be additive-free and should be allowed to enjoy roaming about while alive. Cloning may be the way of the future, but make my burger from a free-range, organic clone.

KEVIN A. KING

Torrance

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