The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine recently issued three documents related to cloned foods:
- “Animal Cloning: A Draft Risk Assessment”
- “Animal Cloning: Proposed Risk Management Plan for Clones and Their Progeny”
- “Guideline No. 179: Guidance for Industry Use of Edible Products from Animal Clones or Their Progeny for Human Food or Animal Feed”
These are drafts open for comment until April 2, 2007.
The FDA concluded that, while there were little data, the data available indicated that “SCNT [somatic cell nuclear transfer, i.e., cloning] results in an increased frequency of health risks to animals involved in the cloning process, but these do not differ qualitatively from those observed in other ARTs [Assisted Reproductive Technologies] or natural breeding.” Furthermore, “[e]xtensive evaluation of the available data has not identified any food consumption risks or subtle hazards in healthy clones of cattle, swine, or goats.”
In short, unless the comments provided within the next three months indicate otherwise, food from cloned animals will be on the market in about a year and require no additional labeling to distinguish it from food products from non-cloned animals.
Keeping the Facts Straight Most objections to “cloned foods” stem from a misunderstanding of the technology and its ramifications: