Navigation Links
Foods From Cloned Animals Safe to Eat: FDA

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 counterparts," the agency said in a statement.

The FDA noted there isn't enough scientific information to say that foods from clones of other animals -- specifically sheep -- are safe for human consumption.

However, at least one food-industry group said it was going to measure consumer response before starting to promote products from cloned animals.

"We appreciate FDA's careful review of the science surrounding cloning," James H. Hodges, president of the American Meat Institute, said in a statement. "Clearly, however, the cloning of animals is a new technology, and our members will evaluate it, as well as consumer attitudes, very carefully."

"The meat industry has a history of analyzing the science surrounding technology and striving to meet consumer demand regarding our products," Hodges added. "We intend to do so going forward."

And several large companies -- including dairy giant Dean Foods Co. and Hormel Foods Corp. -- have said they have no plans to sell milk or meat from cloned animals because of consumer concerns, the Associated Press reported.

The FDA isn't requiring labeling or any other additional measures for food from cattle, swine or goat clones, or their offspring, because food derived from these sources doesn't present a safety problem, Sundlof said.

If a producer wanted to voluntarily label a product as "clone-free," each request would be considered on a "case-by-case basis" to make sure such claims were truthful, agency officials said in a statement.

Food producers have voluntarily withheld cloned animals from the market pending the FDA's decision, which is basically an advisory opinion. It wasn't immediately clear Tuesday if that moratorium would end immediately -- or if other federal agencies must weigh in first, the AP reported.

The FDA said cloned animals would primarily be used for breeding because of the expense involved in creating a clone -- estimated at $13,500 for one cow. Agency officials said it would probably take several years for offspring of clones to enter the marketplace.

Even then, it's not clear how many producers -- or consumers -- would embrace the idea.

A 2006 survey by the Center for Food, Nutrition and Agriculture Policy at the University of Maryland found that one-third of adults said they wouldn't consume milk or meat from cloned animals, even if the FDA determined it was safe.

In its statement, the FDA explained that an animal clone is a genetic copy of a donor animal, similar to an identical twin, but born at a different time. Cloning is not the same as genetic engineering, which involves altering, adding or deleting DNA. Because of the cost factors involved with cloning, such animals are intended for use as elite breeding animals to introduce desirable traits into herds more rapidly than would be possible using conventional breeding, the statement said.

Food & Water Watch, a consumer advocacy group, said the FDA's "decision to allow the sale of meat and milk from cloned animals leaves consumers at risk and releases another questionable technology into the food supply."

"While more complete research is needed on this technology, there is still an underlying objection from consumers based on ethical and animal welfare concerns," Wenonah Hauter, the group's executive director, said in a prepared statement. "More than 150,000 people submitted comments to FDA earlier this year opposing animal food cloning. But despite widespread public disapproval, FDA is not planning to require labeling of products from cloned animals, keeping already wary consumers in the dark."

Last week, the European Union's Food Safety Authority issued a report concluding that meat and milk from cloned animals is probably safe. But there is "only limited data available" on the whole issue of cloning animals, so further consultation with scientists was urged by the safety agency, the AP reported.

"Based on current knowledge, there is no expectation that clones or their progeny would introduce any new food safety risks compared with conventionally bred animals," the wire service quoted the European Union preliminary report as saying.

More information

For more on the cloning decision, visit the FDA.

SOURCES: Jan. 15, 2008, statement, American Meat Institute, Washington, D.C.; Jan. 15, 2008, teleconference with Stephen Sundlof, D.V.M., Ph.D., director, Center of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and Bruce I. Knight, U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs; Jan. 15, 2008, news release, Food & Water Watch, Washington, D.C.

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Natural Harmony Foods Works to Reduce Childhood Obesity
2. Hidden Veggies on the go hits Whole Foods Market(R) in 2008
3. Glory Foods Receives Heart Healthy Certification
4. Gilbert Pritchard, Jr. Joins Board of Directors at Dreamerz Foods, Inc.
5. FDA Mulls Cutting Salt in Processed Foods
6. Marteks lifesDHA(TM) Featured in Dalco Foods Wellness Line Meat Products
7. Biofortifying one of the worlds primary foods
8. Nitrite, Nitrate-Rich Foods Boost Heart Attack Outcomes
9. Mars US Supports Harkin/Murkowski Amendment to Update Nutrition Standards for Foods Sold in Schools
10. Martek Wins German DHA Patent Infringement Actions Against Lonza and One of Nutrinovas Customers in Suits Relating to DHA Product Marketed for Use in Functional Foods and Dietary Supplements
11. Giant Food Alerts Customers to Product Recall by ConAgra Foods
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Foods From Cloned Animals Safe to Eat: FDA
(Date:11/30/2015)... Juan, Puerto Rico (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... an active part of the San Juan Beauty Show held on November 8th and ... event was attended by media personalities, hair artists, renowned beauticians and top of the ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... their strategic partnership at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) 2015 ... global providers of cutting-edge dictation and speech-enabled documentation software, announced their partnership ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... announces the Unstoppable Swappables, a household invention that provides an economical and easy ... a year and is growing at 2.6%," says Scott Cooper, CEO and Creative ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... Clarkston, Metamora, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Excellence is once again accredited by the American Institute of Ultrasound in ... that allows practices to demonstrate that they meet or exceed nationally recognized ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Khanna Vision Institute based in Los Angeles, announced that Dr. ... 2015. Peer Certification by the Board is done so the public knows that the ... obtained after the completion of three years of training or Residency in Ophthalmology. This ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/29/2015)... , Nov. 29, 2015   Royal Philips  ... driven radiology solutions at the 2015 Radiological Society of ... 4 at McCormick Place in Chicago ... will experience the company,s broad portfolio of integrated Diagnostic ... solutions to increase clinical performance, improve workflow and create ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... 29, 2015   National Decision Support Company (NDSC) ... base, including notable statewide implementations. As a result, ... ACR Select, more than 1 million times per ... ACR Select provides real-time feedback on the most ... has been implemented at over 100 healthcare systems ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Nov. 27, 2015  Lannett Company, Inc. (NYSE: ... completed the acquisition of Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals Inc. ... global biopharmaceuticals company UCB S.A. (Euronext: UCB). ... has acquired KU from UCB for total consideration ... including a customary working capital adjustment, a deduction ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: