The FDA has ruled that food from cloned animals is safe to eat and does not require special labeling.
The Food and Drug Administration planned to brief industry groups in advance of an announcement Thursday morning. The FDA indicated it would approve cloned livestock in a scientific journal article published online earlier this month.
Consumer groups say labels are a must, because surveys have shown people to be uncomfortable with the idea of cloned livestock.
However, FDA concluded that cloned animals are “virtually indistinguishable” from conventional livestock and that no identification is needed to judge their safety for the food supply.
I love that phrase “virtually indistinguishable”, because it’s a phrase that can mean anything from “there’s no difference” to “there’s kind of a difference”.
I have no problem with the idea of cloned food. There’s almost 7 billion people on the planet and having cheap food alternatives is always a good idea. However, I do have two issues.
First, as with genetically modified foods, it’s not the quality of the food as much as the quality of the production techniques that has me concerned. I’m not sure I trust the Monsanto’s of the world to give this technology and the process involved the respect it is due.
Secondly – I really dislike the idea of the FDA stating that the cloned food doesn’t need to be labeled as such. Rightly or wrongly, there is a sizable segment of the population who will have misgivings about cloned food, and they have the right to not eat the stuff. By avoiding labeling the product, the FDA has essentially said that “You’re going to eat this food whether you like it or not”.
I feel the same way about GM foods – I believe I should have the right to be as an informed as a consumer as I can be. The FDA thinks otherwise.