Op-Ed

Three cows look directly at the camera from their shared stall.

Californians should be allowed to know what they're eating. That's the simple reason why Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger should sign SB63, the nation's first law requiring food from cloned animals to be labeled. But there are other reasons to go slow on this unproven technology, some of which have not received the attention they deserve.

Meat and milk from cloned animals are not yet available. But the Food and Drug Administration is about to allow them into America's food chain, contrary to both scientific evidence and public sentiment. The FDA issued a draft risk assessment in December 2006 that suggested food from cloned animals presents no serious safety issues. But this was discredited by a March 2007 report by the Center for Food Safety that exposed embarrassing inadequacies in the FDA's review; there are no peer-reviewed safety studies on meat from cloned cows, pigs or goats and only three inconclusive ones on milk. Even the National Academies of Science - the government's science adviser - has said that it's just not possible to adequately assess this foods' safety.

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