FDA declared that food from cloned animals and their progeny is safe
By Andrew Martin
New York Times
After years of debate, the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday declared that food from cloned animals and their progeny is safe, removing the last government hurdle before meat and milk derived from copies of prize dairy cows and superior hogs can be sold at grocery stores.
The decision comes more than four years after the agency tentatively declared that food from cloned animals was safe, only to face a backlash from consumer groups and some scientists who said the science supporting the decision was shaky.
On Tuesday, the F.D.A. declared that further studies had confirmed its earlier decision. Extensive measurement of nutrients in the meat and milk of clones found no cause for alarm, the agency said.
“Following extensive review, the risk assessment did not identify any unique risks for human food from cattle, swine or goat clones, and concluded that there is sufficient information to determine that food from cattle, swine and goat clones is as safe to eat as that from their more conventionally bred counterparts," the agency said in a statement.
The F.D.A. ruling was a major victory for cloning companies, which hope to use the cloned animals primarily for breeding purposes, selling copies of prize dairy cows, steers and hogs. The company putting the most effort into developing the technology is ViaGen, of Austin, Texas. That company and others have already produced scores of clones that live on American farmsteads, though the F.D.A. has asked the farmers to honor a voluntary moratorium on the sale of clone meat and milk.
No law prohibits such sales, and the document the F.D.A. issued Tuesday is essentially an advisory opinion to industry saying the agency sees no ground to seek a permanent ban.
See: FDA Says Food From Cloned Animals Is Safe