Fierce debate is expected in the US after top government scientists ruled that milk and meat from cloned animals is safe and can be sold to the public. A final decision is yet to be made but a ruling by the Food and Drug Administration brings the controversial technology a step closer.
Barbara Glenn is with the Biotechnology Industry Organisation: “A clone is not a genetically engineered animal. No genes have been changed or moved or deleted. This is simply a genetic twin of another animal that we know to be one of the best on our farms and ranches.”
With the exception of sheep, meat from cloned cattle, pigs and goats would be allowed to go on sale. However, it remains to be seen whether consumers would actually want to buy the products. One customer at a market in California said: “There is nothing new invented in it. It is still a cow’s gene in a cow’s gene. The DNA is still there. It is just that you moved it from one cow to another.” Another customer said: “I don’t think I would (buy it) if it is not natural. I really don’t want something that is grown in a lab or anything like that, so I am not really for it. I don’t think I would buy it.” It is still to be decided whether products from cloned animals should have special labels. Consumer groups say it is a must.