Appreciable quantities of cloned meat, milk are still years away from hitting supermarkets

US - If beef is what's for dinner, perhaps the next decision consumers will be faced with is what kind of beef it will be: cloned or regular?
calendar icon 22 January 2007
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Ten years after the birth of the world's first cloned animal, the United States is on the cusp of becoming the first nation to introduce meat and milk from cloned cattle into the food supply. The Food and Drug Administration recently ruled it saw no difference between conventionally raised farm animals and clones, and that both were equally safe to eat.

However, a Kansas State University agricultural economist thinks it will be awhile before cloned meat and milk are made available to consumers.

Sean Fox, a K-State professor of agricultural economics, has conducted numerous studies to determine how consumers react to food safety risks and how much they are willing to pay for safer food. His other research interests include consumer response to irradiated meat and genetically modified food, and the impact of mad cow disease on the U.S. beef industry.

"We're probably still several years away from seeing any appreciable quantities of meat and milk from cloned animals in the food chain," Fox said. "Cloning appears to be expensive and thus will be used, at least initially, only for purebred breeding stock, such as to replicate a prize bull."

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