coalition of health, environmental, animal safety, consumer and
religious groups has filed a petition
with the Food and Drug Administration aimed at the agency's pending
decision on allowing meat and milk from cloned animals into the
U.S. food supply. The Center
for Food Safety and seven other groups are calling for a moratorium
on foods produced from cloned livestock, and for pre-market food
safety and environmental reviews of them.
challenges the adequacy of studies that claim that there are no
health risks of food from cloned animals, and raises environmental
and animal welfare concerns about cloning. A 2004
report by the National Academies of Sciences said that the safety
of cloned food could not be asserted because "the paucity of
evidence in the literature on this topic makes it impossible to
provide scientific evidence to support this position."
that produce cloned livestock see it as a lucrative market. One
company is reported to have cloned pigs and beef cattle ready for
commercialization, and cloned dairy cows have been producing milk
on farms in the U.S. for at least five years. The Washington
that some of these companies may have already released cloned milk
and meat into the commercial market.
But the food
industry is divided on foo6d from cloned animals. Leading the industry
opposition is the International Dairy Foods Association, which represents
companies with publicly recognizable brands that are sensitive to
show that many Americans would refuse to buy food from cloned animals,
and have serious concerns about the ethics of animal cloning. An
independent poll last year found that 77% of Americans were unsure
about the safety of cloned food, including 43% who stated that cloned
food would be unsafe. An industry-sponsored poll last year similarly
found that 63% of Americans would not buy cloned food, even if FDA
deemed the products safe.
The FDA petition
was signed by Center for Food Safety, Consumer Federation of America,
Food and Water Watch, Friends of the Earth, American Anti-Vivisection
Society, Humane Society of the United States, Religious Coalition
for Reproductive Choice and Center for Environmental Health. The
groups want the FDA to regulate cloned animals as "new animal
drugs" under the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act, and call
for the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a federal
review committee to advise the FDA on the ethical issues raised
by animal cloning.
Read the full
Read the Executive
Summary of the petition.
Read the Center for Food Safety's statement.