Cloned Animals Safe to Eat

By: Anne Cutler Email
By: Anne Cutler Email

It's been just over a decade since scientists first cloned an animal, now the U.S. government has declared meat and milk from those animals, safe to eat.

The question now, is will people buy it? Already, several major food companies have said they don't plan to sell products from cloned animals.

And the industry says most Americans would never eat a cloned animal for sheer economic reasons: At $10,000 to $20,000 per cloned cow — compared with $1,000 for an ordinary steer — they're too valuable.

They would be used primarily for breeding, to produce a steady supply of cattle that are particularly tender, for instance, or for prize dairy cows. It would be offspring of clones that consumers would eat.

The Food and Drug Administration ruled that labels won't have to reveal whether the food comes from cloned cows, pigs or goats, or the clones' offspring, because those ingredients are no different than meat or milk from livestock bred the old-fashioned way.

Still, the government asked producers to continue a voluntary moratorium on sales of meat or milk from clones for a little longer, for marketing reasons.

The Agriculture Department said it needed a transition period to get the safety findings to foreign trade partners and food companies.

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