(NaturalNews) Meat eaters in the U.S. may be in for a shock. In the most detailed "risk assessment" on the safety of cloned foods to date, The FDA has reported that meat and milk from bovine, swine and goat clones is safe for human consumption. This conclusion was derived from a comprehensive "risk assessment" study conducted by the FDA and obtained by the Washington Post.
A statement taken from the 968 page FDA report in regard to bovine products states, "we conclude that there is no reason to expect that food from bovine clones would pose additional food safety risks compared with the same products derived from conventionally-bred cattle."
On January 16th, A day after the report by the Post was released, the US Department of Agriculture called on farmers to voluntarily keep cloned animals out of the food chain until the idea of cloned meat in the marketplace gains wider acceptance and reach. This "voluntary moratorium" has been in effect since close to the beginning of the decade.
Bruce I. Knight, Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the USDA, in a MSN news report says "there are only about 600 animal clones in the United States and most of these are breeding animals. 'So few clones will ever arrive at the marketplace.'"
Though the relatively small number of cloned animals in the U.S. may seem comforting for religious groups, activists and cloning opponents, there is evidence that cloned meat is already in our supermarkets. The Washington Post reported, "Executives from the nation's major cattle cloning companies conceded yesterday that they have not been able to keep track of how many offspring of clones have entered the food supply, despite a years-old request by the FDA to keep them off the market pending completion of the agency's safety report."
The issue of cloned meat
in the food supply has been contested much longer than the "years-old" request. A 2003 New York Times article reports, "Donald Coover of Galesburg, Kan., who sells semen for breeding, has been freezing semen from some clones of an Oklahoma bull named Full Flush... He said that this year alone he sold $100,000 worth of semen from Full Flush, enough to inseminate 2,000 cows."
In 2008, Coover told the Washington Post that it "is a fairy tale that this technology is not being used and is not already in the food chain."
This is not the first time the FDA has released a report on the safety of cloned meat
for human consumption. In reaction to a report released in December 2006, A poll, reported by ABC news, stated 65 percent said the cloning is morally wrong.
Because of the findings of the report, The FDA
is not requiring special labeling on food derived from cloned animals or their offspring.
In Europe, the European Food Safety Authority has released a public consultation on the issue of cloned meat and milk in the food supply. The EFSA states on their website, "the ESFA recognises that the issue of animal cloning raises ethical, moral and other societal issues beyond its remit... At this stage, EFSA has not finalised its scientific opinion on the implications of animal cloning on food safety, animal health and welfare and the environment."
The draft opinion is a call to scientists to contribute their findings to support or refute the information before February 25th, 2008. The results of their findings will be available at earliest by May 2008.
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