The use of cloning has long been a controversial topic for many reasons. This isn’t going to stop China though, they have been using genetic editing techniques for quite some time. Their new cloning factory will be the biggest in the world and it is estimated to open for operation in mid 2016.
The facility will be used primarily to clone racehorses, cattle and sniffer dogs. This is a government funded project based in Tianjin, which will focus mainly on producing cattle embryos in order to produce food. The projected cost of the factory is estimated to be around US$500 million.
Clones can happen naturally such as in the case of twins, that are identical, or they can be created in a laboratory by scientists. This mimicking of nature is the central area of debate surrounding modern cloning technology. According to the CEO of the company responsible for this new cloning factory, “Clone technology is already around us. It’s just that not everyone knows about it. And I can tell you all that cloned beef is the tastiest beef I have ever had.”
The Chinese food industry is struggling as farmers have been unable to meet demands placed on them by the ever growing market. As well as supplying food, the factory will also clone animals for other purposes. Sniffer dogs, pet dogs and racehorses are among the animals that will be produced in the factory and those responsible for creating the factory are also excited of the potential for saving endangered species from extinction.
Critics of the project believe that cloning is not an economical model for food production and that cost factors limit it’s usefulness for this purpose.