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FDA Finds Animal Cloned Food to Be Safe

The Food and Drug Administration has found that meat or milk from clones of adult cattle, swine, and goats—and offspring of these clones—is as safe to eat as food from// conventionally bred animals.

The agency recently requested public comment on three documents regarding the safety of animal cloning—a draft risk assessment, a proposed risk management plan, and a draft guidance for industry.

Dr. Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine, said the agency analyzed hundreds of publications and other studies on the health and food composition of clones and clones' offspring.

A group of independent scientific experts in cloning and animal health reviewed the draft risk assessment. The document presents an overview of reproductive methods in animal agriculture, including cloning, along with extensive scientific information about risks from cloning for animal health and food consumption. The conclusions agree with the findings of a 2002 report from the National Academy of Sciences.

The FDA's proposed risk management plan addresses risks to animal health and potential remaining uncertainties about human food or animal feed from animal clones and offspring. The plan also outlines measures that the agency might take to address risks to animals in the cloning process. These risks occur with other reproductive technologies, though the frequency of anomalies is higher for cloning.

One measure could be that the FDA would work with scientific and professional societies with expertise in animal health and reproduction to develop care standards for animals in the cloning process. Although the agency does not have authority to address the ethics of animal cloning, the proposed risk management plan states that the FDA plans to provide scientific expertise to parties working on these issues.

The draft guidance for industry provides guidance for clone producers, livestock breeders, and farmers and r
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