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How Far Is Too Far When It Comes To Modifying Your Food?

Across the world, debate continues to rage about the ethics, accessibility, cost and viable benefits of genetic engineering.

Genetically modifying fruit and vegetables has been largely praised as the process extends the seasonal period, decreases ripening time and increases the overall size of fruit and vegetables. However, when used on living animals, whether they are in captivity or being used as livestock, genetic breeding and manipulation is a far more divisive topic. As a result of genetic crossbreeding, dozens of modified animals and pets have come to the public’s attention. In recent years, discussion about one of these animal breeds, Belgian blue cattle, has become particularly controversial.

Belgian blue cattle are regarded as a new player in the livestock industry after being created by Professor Hanset, working at the AI Center in Liege, Belgium. However, the animal’s extreme level of muscle has already made them popular with beef corporations. The massive animals are selectively bred to increase muscle hypertrophy, a process that quickens and enlarges the natural process of muscle growth.

Heightened muscle hypertrophy is a highly sought after property in the European and Australian meat industry. According to the Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, increased muscle hypertrophy results in less fat and a “higher meat yield, a higher proportion of expensive cuts of meat, and lean and very tender meat.”

However, the Belgian blue cattle breed is regarded by some individuals and groups as an example of unethical scientific behavior and animal cruelty. Due to the animal’s bulky muscular body shape, it can suffer from a slew of painful and debilitating health problems. Animal activists are particularly concerned that a huge proportion of Belgian blue cattle calves die at a young age due to nursing difficulties caused by the crossbreeding process. Despite this controversy, the breed is beginning to become more popular in America after it recently passed US Department of Agriculture standards.

Source: Your Nation News
Photo: YouTube

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