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 FDA Set to Give OK to Cloned Meat and Milk 
 
by Healthy News - 1/9/2008
More Studies Needed to Ensure Public Safety, Science Group Says
Union of Concerned Scientists, January 9, 2008
Straight to the Source

WASHINGTON, DC - The Food and Drug Administration is expected to declare as early as this week that meat and milk from cloned animals and their offspring pose no public health threat. The agency is likely to lift its "voluntary moratorium" on their sale.

"FDA's announcement appears timed to avoid a provision in the Senate version of the farm bill requiring additional safety tests on cloned products before ending the moratorium," said Margaret Mellon, director of the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). "The FDA should not try to subvert the will of Congress, which has wisely called for further studies to ensure there is no risk to public health."

Animal cloning is a controversial technology with few, if any, benefits to consumers, according to Mellon. Most cloned animals have severe defects and are more likely to die at an early age than ordinary farm animals. Although successful clones may appear normal, she said, the possibility remains that some may harbor subtle genetic defects that could impair their health or render them unsafe for consumption. She said the FDA should require that cloned products be labeled as such and keep them off the market at least until it establishes a mandatory tracking system to allow retailers to avoid purchasing the products.

FDA's draft risk assessment also failed to address ethical issues associated with cloning, including the role of animal cloning as a steppingstone to human cloning.

"The agency's draft risk assessment is long on assumptions and short on hard data," Mellon said. "We can afford the time needed to do additional studies."

Formed in 1969, the Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit organization working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS has offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Berkeley, California; and Washington , D.C. For more information, go to www.ucsusa.org.

   
Provided by Healthy News on 1/9/2008
 
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