Recently, a study by US scientists has been reported that meat and milk from cloned animals and their offspring are safe to eat and drink.
If this gets approved, what does this mean for US citizens? This may mean that the next burger and shake you have may just be from a cloned animal.
“Instead of doing its job, the Bush FDA has ignored the science and fast-tracked this decision for the benefit of a few cloning companies,” said Joseph Mendelson, Legal Director for the Center for Food Safety (CFS). “This is a lose-lose situation for consumers and the dairy industry.”
According to additional reports, the FDA action follows the recent news that the agency has refused to investigate health problems in animal clones on a U.S. dairy farm. Greg Wiles, whose Williamsport Maryland “Futuraland 2020” dairy was the first farm in the nation to have cloned cows, told FDA that one of his two cow clones was suffering from unexplained health problems. Wiles told Food Chemical News that the clone “just stopped growing…she just looks terrible,” but says that when he reported the problems to FDA and other federal officials, he was “paddled around like a tennis ball from agency to agency.” CFS has asked the Agriculture Department to intervene in the case to stop any sale and prohibit the slaughter of clones and their progeny for food.
To make matters even worse cloning scientists have acknowledged that there has been genetic abnormalities in clones. Some of the health and safety problems in animal cloning is stated to include:
Surrogate mothers that are treated with high doses of hormones; clones often born with severely compromised immune systems and frequently receive massive doses of antibiotics. This means that this same medicine pushed through their body could possibly enter those consuming these animals.
Many ranchers say there is no doubt that some of the animals taken to slaughterhouses in the past couple of years have been fathered by clones. So have consumers already been consuming some of these cloned animals without even knowing?
“There’s been lots and lots of them that went into the food chain,” said Larry Coleman, who raises limousin cattle in Charlo, Mont., and has made five clones of his prize bull, named First Down. He estimated that at least 10 of their offspring have wound up on dinner tables.
The FDA feels this is an extension to expand livestocks, but does this actually spell disaster and plus who will foot the bill for this expensive procedure?
Reports found that 64 percent of Americans are uncomfortable with animal cloning and that 43 percent believe it is unsafe according to Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology. The Center for Food Safety posted that a November 2006 food industry poll conducted by the International Food Information Council showed that 58% of Americans surveyed would be unlikely to buy meat or milk from animal clones even if FDA found such products to be safe. So who wins in this situation, the consumer or the government?
Although the FDA has not made their official announcement it is being expected later this week.