Feeds

US to approve cloned meat

Lack of variety is the spice of life

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
ANU boffins demo 'tractor beam' in water
The current state of the art, apparently
China to test recoverable moon orbiter
I'll have some rocks and a moon cheese pizza please, home delivery
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Vulture 2 spaceplane autopilot brain surgery a total success
LOHAN slips into some sexy bespoke mission parameters
Another step forward for diamond-based quantum computers
Square cut or pear-shaped, these qubits don't lose their shape
LOHAN acquires aircraft arboreal avoidance algorithm acronyms
Is that an ARMADILLO in your PANTS or are you just pleased to see me?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.