Food for thought: Consumers suspicious of cloned dairy, meat

US - FDA says unconventional products still safe, labels not needed
calendar icon 6 January 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
The federal Food and Drug Administration has proposed allowing the sale of milk and meat from cloned animals, stating that such products would pose no danger to consumers.

The proposal could be approved later this year, following a 90-day public comment period that ends April 2.

But even if the FDA gives the go-ahead to cloning, consumer resistance to the idea is strong, and it's questionable how many companies would be willing to incorporate the technique into livestock production.

The rules would apply to meat and milk from clones of adult cattle, pigs and goats, as well as their offspring. Sheep are not included because the FDA says there isn't enough data on sheep clones.

Some of the studies the FDA used in making its determination were conducted by University of Georgia researcher Steve Stice, one of the world's leading cloning scientists.

Stice's lab at UGA's Regenerative Bioscience Center has produced about 50 cloned calves and 100 cloned pigs so far. It also conducts human embryonic stem cell research, using stem cell lines approved by the Bush administration.

Stice said media coverage by scientifically naive journalists has perpetuated a number of myths about cloning. For example, reports about "premature aging" in the first cloned mammal, Dolly the sheep, led to a belief that all clones have damaged or abnormal cells.

Source: The Times
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