Feeds

US to approve cloned meat

Lack of variety is the spice of life

Security for virtualized datacentres

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will declare today that meat from cloned animals is safe to eat.

A safety assessment released on Thursday is expected to approve the entry of products from genetically identical cattle and other livestock into the human food chain.

The FDA indicated which way the wind was blowing back in 2005. Now an article published by its scientists in the journal Theriogenology dated January 1 forms the scientific basis of the approval. Larisa Rudenko and John C Matheson wrote: "[The FDA] concludes that meat and milk from clones and their progeny is as safe to eat as corresponding products derived from animals produced using contemporary agricultural practices".

The pair said no special labelling of cloned meat would be needed, which has outraged some consumer groups. AP reports Joseph Mendelson, legal director of the Centre for Food Safety, said: "Consumers are going to be having a product that has potential safety issues and has a whole load of ethical issues tied to it, without any labelling."

Concerns have been raised about the safety of cloned animals since the world's first cloned mammal, Dolly the sheep, died prematurely with arthritic joints. Complex enviromental factors can have an effect on embryo development, and the impact of the cloning process is not known fully.

The FDA's announcement is expected to have a significant impact worldwide, with many nation's habitually taking the FDA's lead on safety issues. In the EU food products classed as "novel", like cloned animals, have to get case-by-case approval from the European Commission. A green light seems unlikely given the anti-GM crops line the Commission took.

There has been a voluntary moratorium on cloned meat and milk in place for five years Stateside. Industrial scale ranchers have been keen to see the shackles off, as cloning would allow them to reproduce their tastiest, or biggest, or fastest growing individuals ad infinitum.

The announcement is unlikely to have an immediate impact down at WalMart though. Attrition rates for cloning are still far too high for it to be economical to clone meat on an industrial scale.

More likely in the early stages is that cloned bulls would be raised by biotech firms and sold to ranchers for insemination of their herds, for example. The LA Times reports one rancher said he has cloned his prize bull five times and its progeny is already in the food chain. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
'Utter killjoy Reg hacks have NEVER BEEN LAID', writes a fan
'Shuddit, smarty pants!' Some readers reacted badly to our last Doctor Who review ...
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.