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PETA to Pay for fake meat?

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PETA to Pay for fake meat?

Old 04-21-08, 10:52 AM
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PETA to Pay for fake meat?

Article here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/21/us...hp&oref=slogin

PETA’s Latest Tactic: $1 Million for Fake Meat


By JOHN SCHWARTZ
Published: April 21, 2008
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants to pay a million dollars for fake meat — even if it has caused a “near civil war” within the organization.

The organization said it would announce plans on Monday for a $1 million prize to the “first person to come up with a method to produce commercially viable quantities of in vitro meat at competitive prices by 2012.”

The idea of getting the next Chicken McNugget out of a test tube is not new. For several years, scientists have worked to develop technologies to grow tissue cultures that could be consumed like meat without the expense of land or feed and the disease potential of real meat. An international symposium on the topic was held this month in Norway. The tissue, once grown, could be shaped and given texture with the kinds of additives and structural agents that are now used to give products like soy burgers a more meaty texture.

New Harvest, a nonprofit organization formed to promote the field, says on its Web site, “Because meat substitutes are produced under controlled conditions impossible to maintain in traditional animal farms, they can be safer, more nutritious, less polluting and more humane than conventional meat.”

Jason Matheny, a doctoral student at Johns Hopkins University who formed New Harvest, said the idea of a prize for researchers was promising. Citing the example of the Ansari X Prize, a competition that produced the first privately financed human spacecraft, Mr. Matheny said, “they inspire more dollars spent on a research problem than the prize represents.”

A founder of PETA, Ingrid Newkirk, said she had been hoping to get the organization involved in advancing in vitro meat technology for at least a decade.

But, Ms. Newkirk said, the decision to sponsor a prize caused “a near civil war in our office,” since so many PETA members are repulsed by the thought of eating animal tissue, even if no animals are killed.

Lisa Lange, a vice president of the organization, said she was part of the heated exchange. “My main concern is, as the largest animal rights organization in the world, it’s our job to introduce the philosophy and hammer it home that animals are not ours to eat.” Ms. Lange added, “I remember saying I would be much more comfortable promoting eating roadkill.”

Ms. Newkirk said the disagreement was natural, adding, “We will have members leave us over this.”

“People say animal rights people can’t agree,” she said. “Well, human beings can’t agree. In any social cause community, there are people who strive for purity.”

Her goal, she said, was more pragmatic. “We don’t mind taking uncomfortable positions if it means that fewer animals suffer.” In that way, she said, “in vitro meat is a godsend.”

For some already working in the field, the news was greeted with a wary welcome.

Henk P. Haagsman, a professor at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and an in vitro meat research pioneer, said he welcomed the prize competition.

“It will hopefully spark more interest to invest in the technology,” Professor Haagsman said.

But he said he would not like to see the field dominated by the animal welfare issue, since environmental and public health issues are such important “drivers for this research.” The Netherlands has put $5 million into in vitro meat studies.

Another scientist at Utrecht, Bernard Roelen, said via e-mail that he was “rather surprised” by news of the competition, but said that even with strong financing, it would be extremely difficult to produce commercially viable quantities of in vitro meat before 2012. Professor Roelen added, “For me as a researcher, the announcement does not mean so much.”

Why not? “I do research because I want to understand fundamental mechanisms,” he said, “not to gain fortune.”





I think that this is the first intelligent that I've heard PETA propose. The thought of fake meat creeps me out a bit, but could be great for developing countries. Interesting that there are vegans that oppose even fake meat. I would think that truly "cruelty free" meat would equate to "bring on the bacon", but I guess not.
Old 04-21-08, 10:57 AM
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sound like a better idea than most of the stuff they have been doing lately. I'm behind this.... especially if it results in better quality and cheaper meat.
Old 04-21-08, 11:01 AM
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You think developing countries will allow it? A lot don't allow GM crops yet, do they?
Old 04-21-08, 11:08 AM
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Fake meat? How could they be so cruel to fake meat?
Old 04-21-08, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Venusian
You think developing countries will allow it? A lot don't allow GM crops yet, do they?
I thought it was mostly Europe that wasn't a fan. Wiki said this:
"Currently, there is little international consensus regarding the acceptability and effective role of modified "complete" organisms such as plants or animals. A great deal of the modern research that is illuminating complex biochemical processes and disease mechanisms makes vast use of genetic engineering here, but then again, it is Wikipedia.
Old 04-21-08, 11:19 AM
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This thread needs some pictures. Here.
Old 04-21-08, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by stp115
I thought it was mostly Europe that wasn't a fan. Wiki said this:
"Currently, there is little international consensus regarding the acceptability and effective role of modified "complete" organisms such as plants or animals. A great deal of the modern research that is illuminating complex biochemical processes and disease mechanisms makes vast use of genetic engineering here, but then again, it is Wikipedia.

Old article, but famine-ridden countries have refused our food aid. Virtually all US corn is GM. If it is good enough for us to eat, and they'd rather starve than eat it, my level of caring diminishes. (I'm not sure of current policy, and didn't find a lot of current articles specifically on famine. They still won't grow GM or allow seeds.)
http://www.scidev.net/en/news/famine...-gm-maize.html
Famine-stricken countries reject GM maize
James Njoroge


29 July 2002 | EN

Two famine-stricken Southern African countries — Zambia and Zimbabwe — have rejected offers of maize from the United States, saying it has not been certified as being free of genetic modification, and arguing that they will only accept maize that has been processed into flour.

Both countries have expressed concern that strains of genetically modified (GM) maize, if planted, could result in genetic material from such strains being transferred to their indigenous varieties. This, they fear, could lead overseas markets, in particular Europe, to reject meat from animals that have been fed on the crop.

Zambia’s vice president, Enock Kavindele, seems to have backed off from an assurance he gave to the World Food Programme earlier this month that his government was prepared to buy US maize to feed about 2.3 million starving people.

In June, Zambia banned the importation of GM maize. At the time, its minister for agriculture, food and fisheries, Mundia Sikatana, said that the country could not risk the lives of its people.

Last Friday (27 July), Kavindele said Zambia would seek advice from local scientists on the safety of GM corn before deciding whether to accept a US$50 million loan from Washington to buy GM maize offered by the United States.

The Zimbabwean government, whose three million people are among the many currently facing starvation in Southern Africa, has similarly rejected 10,000 tonnes of maize from the United States, worth US$5 million, arguing that it lacked certification saying that it was GM-free.

The consignment was re-directed to Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi. While the latter two countries accepted the food, Zambia rejected it, arguing that its safety had not been established.

Local researchers have said that Zimbabwe should not be quick to embrace GM technology, as such a move could jeopardise the country’s beef markets in Europe and elsewhere. Both Zimbabwe and Zambia insist that they will only accept US grain containing GM varieties if it comes fully processed.

The head of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Andrew Natsios, has criticised the stand taken by the two countries. “There is no way we can send corn that has no [GM varieties] in it,” he told Reuters news agency last week. “If you want maize from the United States, then you will get it genetically modified.”

USAID’s assistant administrator, Roger Winter, acknowledges that the food the two countries are being asked to accept was made up of GM varieties. However he added that he did not consider this to represent a health hazard, and that such varieties were safe as they had been subjected to stringent safety tests in the United States.

Most African countries do not have procedures in place to assess the safety of GM crops. South Africa is the only country in the continent to have rules, introduced in 1998, for the commercial growing of GM food.
Old 04-21-08, 11:32 AM
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Finally. Soylent green...
Old 04-21-08, 12:00 PM
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I wonder if the use of stem cells is allowed.
Old 04-21-08, 12:33 PM
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Wait a minute. So with this process, they won't have to beat the meat?
Old 04-21-08, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDude
Old article, but famine-ridden countries have refused our food aid. Virtually all US corn is GM. If it is good enough for us to eat, and they'd rather starve than eat it, my level of caring diminishes. (I'm not sure of current policy, and didn't find a lot of current articles specifically on famine. They still won't grow GM or allow seeds.)
Thanks OldDude - good to know.

Them - "Help us, we're starving"
Us - "Here's some of the same corn we eat every day."
Them - " You have anything else? We were hoping for something else..."


Sigh.
Old 04-21-08, 01:44 PM
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In all fairness to the poor countries that have refused GM corn from the US, their reasoning is not just that they're scared of it:

Both countries have expressed concern that strains of genetically modified (GM) maize, if planted, could result in genetic material from such strains being transferred to their indigenous varieties. This, they fear, could lead overseas markets, in particular Europe, to reject meat from animals that have been fed on the crop.
Old 04-21-08, 01:48 PM
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when does mcdonald's get to claim its prize?

Old 04-21-08, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jdodd
In all fairness to the poor countries that have refused GM corn from the US, their reasoning is not just that they're scared of it:
Well, except that if they have enough corn to export or feed animals for export, they shouldn't be starving to death.
Old 04-21-08, 05:40 PM
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I welcome our new, ever-growing chicken heart overlord.
Old 04-21-08, 05:46 PM
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