Digest: Clone taste-off, bee prepared, the raw-milk wars

Insert clone pun here: In an inspired idea for a story, the LA Times holds a dinner party serving steaks and ground meat from cloned progeny as well as conventional cattle. Although the piece starts out snappy enough — Eric Schlosser declines the invitation, saying "I'd rather eat my running shoes" — the execution is as sloppy as a bacon-double cheeseburger. The dialogue is disjointed, and the reporters' assertion that cloning is just as safe as the common practice of manually splitting fertilized eggs to make twins goes unchallenged by anyone (including, surprisingly, guest Gregory Jaffe of the Center for Science in the Public Interest). Even artificially created twins still have two parents, not one, and don't have the high rates of birth defects and "failures to thrive" that clones do. In the end, the article tastes like a missed opportunity. Los Angeles Times

If you plant it, they will come: A UC Berkeley researcher says the declining native bee population is comparable to global warming in terms of a potential ecological catastrophe — and also one we can do something about on an individual basis, by planting bee-friendly gardens. San Francisco Chronicle

What would a patriot drink?: Pennsylvania health authorities have shut down sales from the Stump Acres Dairy, saying it has tested positive for salmonella, reports the York Daily Record. Meanwhile, the FDA and the CDC have issued a joint press release warning consumers about the dangers of raw mllk, and the CDC has reported on an in-depth investigation of cow-share program, where it found 18 cases of E coli infection, according to the CDC's report in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. (A fun subscription to leave on your coffee table, we'll bet.) Over at his blog The Complete Patient, David Gumpert explains why he doesn't think the various crackdowns are a coincidence — and why he and why they're wrong.

Climate change affecting maple syrup: Warmer-than-usual winters are throwing things out of kilter, causing confusion among maple syrup producers and stoking fears for the survival of New England’s maple forests. New York Times

When satire backfires: If Paris Hilton wrote about conscious eating, it might sound like this Tribune article, only perhaps with shorter words. Proof that pesticide residues won't kill you — they only make you dumber and more set in your ways. We're not saying Emily Nunn's views aren't as legitimate as the rest, we're just shocked that someone paid her to share them. Chicago Tribune

USD-Gay: Marion Nestle delivers some money quotes in her last Berkeley appearance for a while. East Bay Express blog

Fine young cannibulls: Showing just how easy it is to feed the wrong bits of animal protein, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is keeping an eye on cattle from nine farms because they accidentally received feed with ruminant meat and bone meal in it. CFIA

Eggcellence in retail: Costco is moving to selling only eggs from cage-free hens, but it needs to set a timetable. Oregonian

Raw deal: In a Northern Virginia mall, Ethiopians gather to feast on slabs of raw, grass-fed beef wrapped in injera. Washington City Paper

Union sent packing: Workers at a Kansas Tyson Fresh Meats packing plant voted against unionizing for the second time; labor reps say the company used sneaky tactics. Hutchinson News

Comments are closed.