Thursday, October 06, 2005

Clone-Generated Milk, Meat May Be Approved

Favorable FDA Ruling Seen as Imminent

By Justin Gillis
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 6, 2005; Page A01

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to rule soon that milk from cloned animals and meat from their offspring are safe to eat, raising the question of whether Americans are ready to welcome one of modern biology's most controversial achievements to the dinner table.

Hundreds of cloned pigs, cows and other animals are already living on farms around the country, as companies and livestock producers experiment and await a decision from the FDA.

Elvis, a calf cloned by ViaGen Inc. of Austin and groomed for breeding.
Elvis, a calf cloned by ViaGen Inc. of Austin and groomed for breeding. (By Carol Guzy -- The Washington Post)
/nation Grade D-N-A
Companies say they're ready to turn cloning into a routine tool of production agriculture.
From Science Fiction to Fact

Clones abound in nature, including human identical twins. Scientists created artificial clones from embryo cells starting in 1894, but adult mammals weren't cloned until 1996. Farm animals have been cloned by the hundreds recently, and companies want to use them in food production. Mammal cloning milestones:

1996: Dolly the sheep (made public in 1997)

1998: Mice, cattle

1999: Goats

2000: Pigs cloned; using mice, clones of clones are produced

2002: Rabbits, cats

2003: Horses, rats

2004: Adult human cloned to create embryos, which are destroyed to extract cells

2005: Dog

SOURCES: ViaGen Inc.; Washington Post research talk

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The agricultural industry has observed a voluntary FDA moratorium on using the products of clones, but it has recently become clear that a few offspring of cloned pigs and cows are already trickling into the food supply.

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