"These cattle were cloned the old way, by artificially dividing an embryonic cell to create quads," says TIME science editor Phillip Elmer-DeWitt. "There's no genetic alteration involved -- it's simply superstitious to imagine that there's any cause for concern here, although there's a whole industry that's been created to scare people about this sort of thing." Some people make their living out of finding a clone to pick.
Japanese consumers may like their beef perfect -- perfectly marbled, perfectly aged -- but not that perfect. Tokyo consumer groups are up in arms over the government's admission Tuesday that beef from 66 cloned cattle, the surplus result of a research project, had been eaten by consumers who were given no indication that it had been cloned. But scientists insist that it is no different (literally and figuratively!) from the meat of its parent animals, and that there's no need to warn consumers of its origins.