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One little two little three little milkshakes…

December 29, 2006

Cloneworthy?

Cloneworthy?So the FDA says cloned milk and meat products are as safe as conventional products because, as Rick Weiss writes in today’s Washington Post, the studies reviewed in its 678-page analysis found no “scientific reason to keep meat or milk from clones off store shelves.” Weiss reports public comments will be allowed through April 2, and the FDA must review those comments before making a final decision about whether to allow these products on the market.

Now in years past, like the 1990s when genetically modified food products were starting to enter the market, the FDA didn’t heed the majority of public comments. I can remember attending public hearings in Washington where critics challenged the FDA as to why, and failed to get a straight answer. Next thing you know, biotech foods are everywhere (especially in all the processed and packaged foods Americans eat), but public awareness remains low — most Americans still don’t realize they’ve been eating biotech foods for years! So I’m skeptical about how things will fare for people who follow food, health and nutrition issues here viz. cloned milk and meat.

The Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology says consumer confidence in the FDA has declined substantially — from 41% in 2001 down to 29% in September 2006. But the Initiative also says Americans claim to have heard more about cloning than about GM food.

Even if such foods are labeled, or if other foods are labeled “clone-free,” much the way many products available at stores such as Whole Foods are labeled “GMO-free,” what bothers me is the long-term effects. After all, it was some 50 years before we knew that DDT was harmful to human health. And America had a love affair with pesticide application for decades before we realized the price we were paying.

Could that be in the offing for our food supply? Or will the so-called “yuck factor” prevail?

Added 2/12/07:

The Center for Food Safety is one of a number of advocacy non-profits that has set up a link on its website to let consumers tell FDA this isn’t cool.

Consumer Federation of America

Center for Science in the Public Interest

Pew Iniative on Food and Biotechnology

FDA

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One comment

  1. See the American Anti-Vivisection Society’s website on this issue — http://www.endanimalcloning.org

    See also article by Hilary Oliver in the Natural Foods Merchandiser, 1/16/07
    Tentative approval of cloned animals for food draws criticism



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