- Cloned Animals Leak into European Food Supply
Cloned Animals Leak into European Food Supply
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Is the U.S. next?
It was recently discovered that products from clones and their offspring have entered the European food system1 and people are consuming these products unknowingly. Subsequently, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack publicly admitted that he does not know if products from clones or their offspring have entered the North American food supply.2 This is cause for concern, as reports claim that products from clones and their offspring, such as meat and milk, are already being consumed by Americans without their knowledge.3
We do not know if products from clones or their offspring are in the U.S. food supply, since the federal government is not even tracking clones and their offspring.
Despite massive public opposition, serious animal welfare problems, and flawed review processes for food products from clones4 and their offspring,5 the FDA has still approved these products as safe for human consumption and does not require labels or any other way of notifying the public about whether the food we eat is produced via cloning or genetic engineering.
In response to the FDA’s approval of products from clones and their offspring, the USDA has issued a “voluntary moratorium” on the sale of these products until it can review the economic impacts cloning will have on the U.S. agriculture industry. USDA’s failure to act on the issue for years — despite reports that these products are already in the U.S. food supply — is nothing short of tacit support for allowing these products to reach our plate without the proper tests for safety to the public and the environment, without proper regulations, and without labels to allow consumers to chose what foods they eat.
The USDA’s “voluntary moratorium” on the sale of products from clones and their offspring is far from adequate. Friends of the Earth calls for a permanent ban on cloning since it endangers public health, threatens biological diversity, and is an unnecessary and dangerous technology.
1. Kanter, James. “Cloned Livestock Gain a Foothold in Europe.” The New York Times. 29 July 2010. <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/30/business/global/30cloning.html?pagewanted=1&_r=3&sq=cloned&st=cse&scp=1>.
2. Schmidt, Sarah. “U.S. Unsure If Cloned Meat Has Been Sold in North America.” CalgaryHerald. 10 Aug. 2010. <http://www.calgaryherald.com/health/unsure cloned meat been sold North America/3382347/story.html>.
3. Ghosh, Pallab. “Cattle ‘Cloned from Dead Animals'” BBC. 12 Aug. 2010. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-10951108>.
4. Not Ready for Prime Time: FDA’S Flawed Approach to Assessing the Safety of Food from Animal Clones. Rep. Center for Food Safety, Mar. 2007. <http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/pubs/FINAL_FORMATTEDprime%2520time.pdf>.