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Foods From Cloned Animals Safe to Eat: FDA
Date:1/15/2008

Agency says that no dangers are posed to American consumers

TUESDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Food products such as meat and milk that come from cloned animals are as safe to eat as foods from conventionally bred animals, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday.

The announcement seemingly lifts the last government barrier to the sale of meat, milk and other food products from cloned cattle, swine, goats and their offspring.

However, food producers suggested they would move slowly before embracing the controversial technology, to gauge consumer reaction to the possibility of eating foods from cloned animals and their progeny.

"Meat and milk from cattle, swine and goat clones are as safe as food we eat every day," Dr. Stephen Sundlof, the FDA's director of the Center of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said during a teleconference Tuesday.

"USDA [the U.S. Department of Agriculture] fully supports and agrees with the FDA final assessment. Meat and milk from cloned cattle, swine and goats, and their offspring, pose no safety concern, and these products are no different than food from conventionally bred animals," added Bruce I. Knight, Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the USDA.

Knight noted there are only about 600 animal clones in the United States, and most of these are breeding animals. "So, few clones will ever arrive at the marketplace," he said.

The announcement reaffirms the FDA's decision almost four years ago that food from cloned animals and their offspring was safe. The agency said additional studies confirmed its initial finding.

"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
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