It sounds like a scenario from a science-fiction novel: The government has declared that meat and dairy from cloned animals is safe, and now cloned products can show up in the nation’s food supply. In December 2006, the FDA ruled that food from cattle, pig, and goat clones — animals genetically engineered to be genetic copies of a donor animal — held no more risk to humans’ health than eating food from conventionally bred animals. And if the agency lifts the voluntary moratorium it’s had since April 2007 on cloned products, cloned food could hit shelves within weeks — without any labeling, which currently isn’t required by law.
Concerned about the lack of long-term safety testing on cloned animals, legislators in seven states — Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Washington — have sponsored bills that would require cloned meat and dairy to display a label indicating that content was produced with cloned animals. A similar bill passed in California’s state legislature but was vetoed by governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in October. Bills have also been presented in the federal congress.
— Katy Neusteter
FOR MORE INFORMATION about cloned animals and what’s going on in your state, write your senator or representative in Washington, DC, or visit the Center for Food Safety’s website.