Dolly the Cheeseburger

The FDA just cleared meat and milk from cloned animals as safe for human consumption. I think it’s just fine. I don’t think we need labeling (in Canada or in the US) of cloned product. Separate labels are only required for foods that are substantially different than the regular version of the foods. We don’t label a steak from a Angus steer as different from a Hereford because the foods are essentially the same. We don’t label black and red cows as different, or the different breeds of chickens when we package chicken breasts. The product from a cloned animal is (or should be*) exactly the same as the product from the parent (or I should say, the nuclear-material donor).

This is, however, different than genetically modified (GM) products, such as canola (oilseed rape). I pick canola as an example both for it’s economic impact (the problems with exporting Canadian GM canola to the EU), and because there are some variety specific concerns. GM canola varieties are developed to enhance the production of specific oils, and some of the varieties produce dangerous levels of certain oils. Because they become substantially different than the ancestor plants they on longer fit the case of cloned animal products.

My point is that it is very difficult to draw parallels between GM foods and cloned foods, as well as that the FDA came to it’s decision based on a lot of research.

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