The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced yesterday that, after years of detailed analysis, meat and milk from cloned animals and their offspring are as safe for human consumption as those produced by conventional livestock.
FDA issued three documents outlining its regulatory approach on cloning, including a risk assessment, a risk management plan and guidance for the industry. These documents were originally released in draft form in December 2006, when it gave its preliminary blessing of food from cloned animals.
Its ruling deems meat and milk from clones of cattle, swine and goats, “and the offspring of clones from any species traditional consumed as food,” as safe to eat, though the agency said there was insufficient information to reach a conclusion on the safety of food from other animals, such as sheep.
Major meat processors, however, are not experimenting with the technology as of yet.
Smithfield Foods commented in a statement that as the “science involved in cloning animals is relatively new; we will continue to monitor further research”. The company, however, is not opting for meat from cloned animals as of yet.
Tyson Foods also has stated that it is not yet prepared to purchase cloned livestock as it will take a long time before the animals are available for the market.
Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson commented that the company’s actions would be based on government regulations and their customers’ wishes.
â€¢ FDA ruling
â€¢ Smithfield Foods
â€¢ Tyson Foods