FDA Gives a Thumbs Up to Cloned Milk and Meat

Washington, D.C., January 15, 2008—The Competitive Enterprise Institute applauds the Food and Drug Administration’s verdict on the safety of food products made from cloned animals. The agency’s long-awaited final risk assessment concluded that milk and meat from cloned animals and their offspring is as safe as foods from animals that have been conventionally bred.

The FDA panel reviewed hundreds of scientific and medical studies, producing an exhaustive 968-page report that found no health or safety risks unique to the cloning process. Despite this clean bill of health, however, the agency is till receiving criticism from activists opposed to the use of biotechnology.

“Since Dolly the sheep became the first successfully cloned animal in 1996, thousands of other healthy sheep, cattle and pigs have been born, but critics still claim the process will create monstrous new hybrids,” said Gregory Conko, Director of Food Safety Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. “The scary predictions of anti-technology activists have been shown to be nothing more than science fiction.”

The current proven method for cloning animals was first envisioned in the 1930s, but its use had to wait until the process was developed and perfected. “Over the past decade, studies have accumulated to the point where researchers now have more data on the health and well-being of cloned animals than they do on conventionally bred livestock,” said Conko.

In response to ethical questions regarding the technology, Conko notes that breeders can produce better and safer food by cloning rare animals that produce leaner meat, for example, or that are especially resistant to common livestock diseases.

“The ability to drastically reduce illness among animals and to improve consumer safety arguably makes cloning more, not less humane than traditional breeding,” concluded Conko.

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, please visit our website at www.cei.org.