FDA Expected to Rule on Cloned Food This Week

ByABC News via logo
December 27, 2006, 6:53 AM

Dec. 27, 2006 — -- The Food and Drug Administration is expected to make an important ruling this week on the future of meat and milk from cloned animals.

Just 10 years after Dolly the sheep became the first mammal to be successfully cloned, food products from cloned animals could soon become available on grocery store shelves nationwide.

In what is seen as a preview of an FDA ruling expected this week, FDA scientists say in a new study that they have found that food from cloned animals is safe to eat.

"Meat and milk from clones and their progeny is as safe to eat" as food that isn't produced through cloning, the report said.

Regardless of the FDA's decision, it's not expected to quell the controversy over cloned foods.

"We are not convinced that this is safe food," Jaydee Hanson of the Center for Food Safety told "Good Morning America."

"And we haven't seen the facts that would convince us," Hanson said.

Some farmers and ranchers already clone animals, but a voluntary moratorium imposed by the FDA has kept that meat and milk off store shelves.

The public seems skeptical about changing that. In a poll taken earlier this year, 65 percent called cloning animals morally wrong. Another poll found that 45 percent opposed using cloning in food production.

If FDA approval goes through, the question is how and whether cloned meat and milk will be clearly marked so consumers know what they're buying. Experts say that may be unlikely.

"It's very possible that these products will end up on the grocery store shelves without any specific label identifying them as having come from cloned animals," said Michael Fernandez, executive director of the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology.