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FDA: Clone it, then eat it

Good news for those of you who have been keeping a cloned T-bone in your freezer waiting to see if it's safe to eat: In an announcement that surprised no one, the FDA today linkurl:gingerly said;http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2006/NEW01541.html that it's OK to eat cloned cows and pigs. Cloned milk and meat more than likely won't even need a label. The timing of the announcement suggests that the FDA wanted as little scrutiny of the report as possible ?- the week before Christmas and New Yea

By | December 28, 2006

Good news for those of you who have been keeping a cloned T-bone in your freezer waiting to see if it's safe to eat: In an announcement that surprised no one, the FDA today linkurl:gingerly said;http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2006/NEW01541.html that it's OK to eat cloned cows and pigs. Cloned milk and meat more than likely won't even need a label. The timing of the announcement suggests that the FDA wanted as little scrutiny of the report as possible ?- the week before Christmas and New Year's is, as the linkurl:Raelians figured out;http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn3217 in 2002, the time to announce news about cloning ?- but the response was predictable. In advance of the announcement, the American Anti-Vivisection Society linkurl:said it was opposed to all animal cloning;http://www.aavs.org/campaign.html because of high failure rates, while the Competitive Enterprise Institute -- a 'non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government' that has challenged calls for anti-global warming efforts -- linkurl:applauded;http://www.cei.org/gencon/003,05677.cfm the decision. As usual, the truth lies somewhere between the descriptions by self-described non-partisans who look only at the data that supports their causes. The FDA seems to be linkurl:following the evidence;http://www.fda.gov/cvm/CloneRiskAssessment.htm for potential harm to human health pretty carefully here ? that is to say, there doesn?t seem to be any. Whether or not people will actually want to eat cloned animals, however, remains to be seen. A Pew Initiative for Food and Biotechnology linkurl:poll earlier this month;http://pewagbiotech.org/research/2006update/9.php had 64% of Americans saying they were uncomfortable with linkurl:animal cloning;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15228/ , and 46% saying they were 'strongly uncomfortable,' although the poll didn't ask specifically about eating Dolly's cloned cousins. (The FDA reserved judgment on whether cloned sheep would be safe to eat, saying the evidence wasn't definitive yet.) In any case, cloned animals are unlikely to make it into the food chain in large numbers anytime soon. Cloned breeders, however, might become more popular. Let's see if McDonald's halves the price of its linkurl:double cheeseburger;http://app.mcdonalds.com/bagamcmeal?process=item&itemID=10009 .
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