Legal petition filed with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seeking moratorium on foods produced from cloned animals

January 15, 2007 | Roger McEowen

 

In late December, the U.S. FDA released a preliminary safety assessment that clears the path for the eventual marketing of meat and dairy products from cloned animals for human consumption. It’s a controversial issue not unlike the controversies surrounding genetically modified organisms showing up in the food supply when they are not supposed to (i.e., the Starlink problem). Some scientists claim that clones may be inherently unhealthy, with potentially harmful consequences for animal foods derived from clones. Indeed, the first cloned animal, Dolly the sheep, ended up being euthanized at age 6 (normal lifespan is 11-12 years for Dolly’s breed) and suffered from arthritis and lung disease that is typical of much older animals. Some scientists argue that clones may be inherently unhealthy, with potentially harmful consequences for animal foods derived from clones. Also, recent polls show that most Americans would not knowingly eat meat or drink milk from a cloned animal. That means that the issue will again likely boil down to whether meat or milk from cloned animals will be appropriately labeled as such so that consumers have full information and can make an informed choice. 

A coalition of consumer groups has filed a petition with FDA seeking a moratorium on food and milk produced from cloned animals. The petition also requests that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services establish a federal review committee to advise FDA on the ethical issues raised by animal cloning.

Download petition: ClonedAnimalPetition.pdf

Download FDA Preliminary Safety Assessment: FDACloningRiskAssessment.pdf