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Chinese Factory to Grow Millions of Test Tube Cows

posted: 12/04/15
by: Danny Clemens
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A newly announced "commercial animal cloning center" in China will produce massive amounts of beef cattle, its financers say.

The facility will produce 100,000 beef cow embryos in its first year of operation, with the eventual goal of producing one million embryos annually. In addition to cows, the facility will also produce racehorses and police dogs.

A partnership between China's Boyalife Group, Peking University's Institute of Molecular Medicine, the Tianjin International Joint Academy of Biomedicine and South Korea's Sooam Biotech Research Foundation, the $31 million facility is slated to open next year in the port city of Tianjin. It will also house a gene bank and a museum.

Factory farming
themorningstudio/iStock

"Chinese farmers are struggling to produce enough beef cattle to meet market demand," Boyalife Group board chairman Xu Xiaochun said in a statement.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration in 2008 declared that "cattle, swine, and goat clones [...] are safe for human and animal consumption," but recommends that "other clone species do not enter the human food supply." The agency does not currently require that food products produced from cloned animals be labeled as such.

Despite the FDA's official blessing, there is still fierce opposition to the practice.

"We urge further studies to assess long-term risks and environmental threats associated with cloned animals and a moratorium on their release into the food supply continue until these studies have been completed adequately and the products proven safe," the Center for Food Safety says on its website.

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