Friday, December 29, 2006

Food from cloned animals safe to eat: FDA

Food from cloned animals safe to eat: FDA
By Missy Ryan

Milk and meat from some cloned animals is safe to eat and can be sold in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday in a landmark draft ruling that brings the controversial technology one step closer to Americans' grocery carts.
If given final approval, the ruling would allow the sale of food from cloned cattle, pigs and goats, but not sheep, for the first time in the United States.
The agency said it would be unlikely to recommend special labels for the cloned food, but would not decide on the labeling issue until after it gets public comment.
"No unique risks for human food consumption were identified in cattle, swine or goat clones," the FDA said in a draft risk assessment, which now enters a public comment period before the agency makes its final decision.
The agency said it did not have enough information to rule on sheep clones. But it said food from cloned cattle, pigs, goats or sheep did not need additional safeguards.
Cloning to make genetic copies of animals works by taking cells from an adult and fusing them with other cells before implanting them in a surrogate mother. Hundreds of copied livestock already exist, but most producers have agreed not to sell them ahead of the FDA decision.
Advocates of livestock cloning hope the technology will help produce more milk and lean, tender meat by creating more disease-resistant animals.
But some consumer and religious groups strongly oppose the idea, arguing that scientists don't know enough yet about the effect of cloning on nutrition or biology. They also want more time for public debate on cloning ethics.
A handful of U.S. companies now clone animals, and there are only about 150 cloned cattle in the country.
Even if the FDA does issue a final approval for cloned food, consumers may be wary. More than half of consumers polled in a survey released last month by the International Food Information Council said they were unlikely to buy food made from cloned animals, no matter what the government says.
Some affected industries have also expressed fear that doubts about cloning could turn away consumers.
"Animal cloning is a relatively new technology, and it's important that we have a thorough, deliberative dialogue where people can openly discuss any concerns," the International Dairy Food Association said in a statement.

(Additional reporting by Susan Heavey)
Copyright © 2006 Reuters Limited.

Wow. Another mindblowing move by the FDA. No unique risks? Do they really think the American public is that stupid? I mean really!

Let's point out what's obviously missing. Studies anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
For a government that stands only behind "science", WHERE IN THE HELL IS IT?

Oh, right. What am I thinking? That the FDA's MO will change? They just throw known neurotoxins and newly formed animals into the system and wait and see what happens ONLY when there are ramifications that can't be ignored.

Pretending I'm not a human being for this really an economically wise choice for the FDA to make based on past history? Introducing something and recalling it later after irreversable/unforseen damage has been done? Can we all see the exponential costs for this behavior?

Maybe the FDA could use a good behavior modification program!

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