Leading US pork producer, Smithfield Foods, has announced that it will not produce pork from animals that have been cloned.
The company has stated that “the technology used in cloning animals is quite new and our focus is placed on improving our pork and other meat products through selective breeding and genetic research”. It will continue to monitor developments before making any decisions with regard to this issue.
Following a cloning risk assessment, carried out by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) early in 2007, the technology is almost certainly going to be approved for use in the US food production industry. A final FDA decision is awaited in December this year.
The company’s statement has been welcomed by opponents to cloning such as the Center for Food Safety.
Consumers too are not very enthusiastic about the idea of consuming food from cloned animals. In a survey by the International Food Information Council (IFIC), 50% of American consumers were not in favour of cloning. 89% consumers were subsequently calling for labelling of food from animals that have been cloned.
Smithfield is quoted by FoodNavigator-USA.com as stating that it will not change its stance against cloning technology in pork even if the FDA confirms that safety of food from cloned animals.