Sunday, January 6, 2008

FDA May Soon Rule:
Is It Time to Send in the Clones?

According to the Wall Street Journal,
the FDA may soon rule on whether to lift the temporary ban on cloned livestock. Such a decision may allow meat and dairy, etc. from cloned animals into the U.S. food system.

Click here for the full article.

Some retailers have chosen to avoid selling cloned animal product. Details can be found in the WSJ article.

However, if the FDA does rule to allow such sales, there may be no way for you to tell whether the product you purchase is from a cloned animal.

According to the WSJ:
ViaGen and Trans Ova Genetics, [one]of the three livestock-cloning companies in the U.S., recently announced a voluntary tracking system that will help food makers, slaughterhouses and marketers to prove, if they choose, that they aren't selling such foods. The program doesn't cover the offspring of clones, however.


Consumer wariness toward cloned food may lead to a backlash from opponents in Congress and other markets, such as the European Union, who are concerned that not enough data are available for a viable study on the safety of the products. There are also ethical worries because cloned animals tend to have more health problems at birth than conventionally bred animals.

U.S. food companies could face more trouble from European Union regulators and consumers, who are unlikely to respond favorably to the idea of eating cloned animals or their offspring. According to a recent poll, 55% of Italians think the EU should ban food made from cloned animals. The EU already bans most meat imported from the U.S. because it's often raised using hormones. (It imports only $70 million worth of meat a year from the U.S.) Similarly, trade rules allow the EU to ban the import of cloned animal food if it's for health and safety reasons.

While I am not yet sure on where I stand concerning the sale of such products, I do feel that an effective tracking program should be essential.

I don't want to be a guinea pig.

When it comes to food safety, I feel the more data, the better.
I would be fine with the FDA continuing the temporary ban.

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