Rabbi Declares Genetically Cloned Pig Meat Kosher

An Orthodox rabbi in Israel has declared the consumption of pork kosher — as long as it comes from genetically cloned pigs. Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, the head of the ethics department of the Tzohar organization and the Orot Shaul yeshiva said in an interview with Ynet that eating genetically engineered cloned meat should be considered kosher, even with dairy products.

Halacha, or religious Jewish law, bans the consumption of non-kosher foods including pork, shellfish, and dairy eaten with meat produced from a live animal. But in the interview, Cherlow pushed for rabbinic approval of cloned meat. He cited hunger, pollution, and the suffering of animals as his main reasons, according to a report from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

But how can Jews eat pork, even if it is cloned? Cherlow elaborated on the matter, explaining that if "[the] cell of a pig is used and its genetic material is utilized in the production of food, the cell in fact loses its original identity and therefore cannot be defined as forbidden for consumption. It wouldn't even be meat, so you can consume it with dairy."

Cherlow also said that he realizes that his controversial statement will receive a ton of pushback, but he believes that the religious Jewish authorities will agree with him, citing rulings on gelatin, an animal substance previous banned but now accepted as kosher.

"Without being a prophet, it is possible to understand that there will be a great controversy. In my opinion, such a pig is not meat and it is forbidden for the same reasons that the halachic authorities ruled in previous generations regarding gelatin," he told Ynet.

Although you still certainly shouldn't serve pork at your Passover Seder (and let's face it, cloned pig is probably pretty hard to come by anyway) these 11 decadent desserts are kosher for Passover.