FDA to Lift Ban on Cloned Meat, Jeopardizing Food Safety
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Nick Berning, 202-222-0748
Expected FDA Decision to Lift Ban on Cloned Meat and Diary Products Contradicts Congressional Legislation and Ignores Consumer Concerns
WASHINGTON—The Food and Drug Administration is reportedly expected to lift a voluntary ban on potentially unsafe cloned meat and dairy products in the human food supply as soon as this week. This move directly contradicts congressional legislation that calls for further research and analysis before cloned meat and dairy products are allowed into grocery stores.
“FDA has gone rogue,” stated Gillian Madill, Genetic Technologies Campaigner at Friends of the Earth. “This agency is putting the profits of big corporations before its obligations to protect the public and food supply.”
In response to a FDA petition in December of 2006, more than 150,000 people filed letters opposing the introduction of cloned meat and dairy into the food supply. This was followed by an amendment by Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) that was incorporated into the Farm Bill requiring further, in-depth analysis of the effects of introducing cloned animals into our food supply before lifting the voluntary ban. An additional provision in the Omnibus Appropriations Bill calls for the FDA to partner with the USDA to study the implications of permitting cloned meat and dairy products into the food supply, as the current FDA investigation has had a very narrow scope and been based upon possibly inaccurate data.
Under current law, cloned meat and dairy products do not have to be approved by the FDA or labeled for consumers. The voluntary ban previously imposed by the FDA relied upon the good faith of livestock breeders and dairy farmers to not use cloned animals in meat and milk production. Because this “ban” was only voluntary, it is possible that we are already consuming cloned animal products and do not know.
Friends of the Earth has partnered with the Center for Food Safety, American Anti-Vivisection Society, Consumers Union, Farm Sanctuary, Food & Water Watch, The Human Society of the United States, and the Union of Concerned Scientists in protecting the food supply from cloned meat and dairy until we are sure that it is safe.