China is building the world’s largest animal cloning factory in the world under the direction of a Korean scientist who was convicted of fraud and embezzlement.
The cloning factory is set to open in the Chinese port city of Tianjin sometime next year through a joint partnership of Chinese biotech company, Boyalife Group, and South Korea’s Sooam Biotech.
At the head of Sooam Biotech sits Dr. Hwang Woo-suk — a man was once hailed as a national hero, and who later became a disgraceful embarrassment for falsifying stem-cell research and embezzling government subsidies.
The fact that Dr. Hwang, the man in charge of cloning for this massive endeavor, was disowned by Seoul National University in 2005 and was convicted of embezzling some $700K in research funds seems to be of little concern to the Chinese.
Dr. Hwang was also convicted of illegally purchasing human embryos, but for a country with a human rights record such as China, it is no surprise that they would overlook such a career setback.
Despite Dr. Hwang’s unethical conduct in the past, Sooam Biotech has been acclaimed as the world’s foremost cloning lab and even claimed that they could bring back the extinct mammoth a la Jurassic Park if they could obtain an intact mammoth genome.
In fact, Sooam Biotech’s website even gives specific instructions on how to preserve your dead dog for 5 days to successfully extract and secure live cells for cloning (hint: “DO NOT place the cadaver inside the freezer”).
Cloning animals in China is nothing new. Since 2000, Chinese scientists have cloned sheep, cattle, and pigs, and the first commercial cloning company was established in 2014 when they cloned three pure-bred puppies, according to the South China Morning Post.
The Chinese cloning factory is projected to cost $31 million to complete with the goal of cloning 100,000 cow embryos per year to feed the beef-loving Chinese population.
According to Boyalife’s CEO, Xiao-Chun Xu, “We are going [down] a path that no one has ever traveled. We are building something that has not existed in the past.”
Would you eat cloned meat from China?
How about after learning that China has a history of adding gelatin to rats, foxes, and minks to be sold as lamb while milk has been treated with harmful chemicals to raise protein counts?
It can’t be any worse than pesticides and GMOs in everyday global food production, right?