PETA Offers $1 Million In-Vitro Meat Prize
Firms May Be Creating Designer Babies Now
Burgers and Babies Under Glass
April 25, 2008
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has announced that they are offering a $1 million prize to the contest participant able to make the first in vitro chicken meat and sell it to the public by June 30, 2012. And the UK Telegraph reported earlier this month that an American company is warning that unscrupulous scientists may be harnessing a new way of cloning human cells to create “designer” babies. Science and ethics clash as debate over creating meat and children in test tubes heats up.
“You want a meat sandwich you get a piece of animal and grind it up or get one from somebody who has, and if you want a kid you find a good guy and get knocked up. You don’t run to a lab for either, it’s completely unnatural and wrong,” said Nancy Stillborn-Lockness, a natural beauty who eats only organic food and bangs a regular guy. “I have sympathy for any animal that’s tortured and any couple who can’t conceive on their own, but the idea of a meat sandwich coming from a Dow Chemical plant or kids produced by Merck Pharmaceuticals’ creeps me out. You realize that if it works we’ll outsource them both to China and have asbestos and lead based kids and Big Macs don’t you? That’s how the new economy works.”
Not everyone thinks that better living through science is a bad thing. “If you can get a good inexpensive steak by combining protein and carbohydrates in a test tube and don’t have to shoot a cow for one, why wouldn’t we want to do it,” asked Ahmad Mc-Von-Braun, a Saudi Irish German man often found in conflict with himself on political issues, but remains unified when thinking about red meat. “And if you can build better offspring why not combine the right elements scientifically and destroy what doesn’t work or hinders personal or societal development? It may be the quickest way to improve humankind without resorting to genocide or the Democrat national healthcare plan.”
TIME reported that on Monday animal rights group PETA announced it would award $1 million to the first person to come up with a way to make commercially viable in vitro meat. The fake meat would have to be indistinguishable from the real deal, according to competition rules, and it would have to be cheap enough to succeed in the marketplace. Dr. Stig Omholt, director of Norway’s Centre for Integrative Genetics and chair of the In Vitro Meat Consortium, which held its first symposium this month, says no one has come close to doing it yet, but he says it seems possible to develop the technology.
Scientists first began working with in vitro proteins, grown from animal cells in Petri dishes and bioreactors, about a decade ago. Scientists biopsy stem or satellite muscle cells from a livestock animal, such as a chicken, cow or pig. The cells are then placed in a nutrient-rich medium where they divide and multiply, and are then attached to a scaffolding structure and put in a bioreactor to grow. In order to achieve the texture of natural muscle, the cells must be physically stretched and flexed, or exercised, regularly.
The UK Telegraph newspaper reported that Dr. Robert Lanza, chief scientific officer of biotechnology company Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) near Boston, said that unscrupulous scientists could already be cloning human cells to create “designer” babies. He said groups are currently using similar technology to develop new sources of parent cells, stem cells, to treat serious diseases such as Parkinson’s and stroke. “It is quite possible that the real legacy of this whole new programming technology is that it could introduce the era of designer babies,” he said. “So for instance if we had a few skin cells from Albert Einstein, or anyone else in the world, you could have a child that is say 10 per cent or 70 per cent Albert Einstein by just injecting a few of their cells into an embryo.” Some people say it’s time to get it on.
“Replacing humans and animals by producing replacements for them in laboratories is the way to go,” said former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, adding that he approved this message. “I may just be Client Number 9 to some people, but I’m a kinky sex loving guy who would love to eat artificial meat and bang women designed just for me in a test tube. The world’s economy is now being driven by micro-markets where all base-models of everything from automobiles to newspapers are being adapted for every individual’s needs and wants. The same should be true of life forms. It’s time to get past the idea that Henry Ford introduced with the Model T. No one wants boiler plate stamped out products, services or life forms anymore. We want to tweak everything to suit ourselves. We are our own gods and it’s time we get on with being them.”
In related news, a deaf couple in Britain has been campaigning against a proposed UK law called the Human Fertilization and Embryology Bill, which says using embryo-screening deliberately to create a child with a serious medical condition is illegal. The couple wants to have a deaf child created in vetro and the government thinks that it’s wrong to intentionally create a child with a “handicap.” The couple says the government is discriminating against them and it’s their right to build the kid however they want. No word on whether they also plan to have some in vitro human meat manufactured just to see if deep down they’re cannibals.
(C) 2008 InebriatedPress.com