Earlier this year, the FDA determined that the meat and milk of cloned animals are as safe as the real thing. The decision met with disapproval from consumer advocates, religious groups, and animal rights activists.
Still, despite the FDA clearance, farmers and ranchers have followed a voluntary moratorium on selling products from cloned animals.
According to a Reuters article, milk and meat from the offspring of cloned livestock have entered the US food supply.
There aren't label requirements for foods from cloned animals, so consumers are left in the dark. According to a Wall Street Journal article, cloned animals are more likely to have health problems at birth than traditionally bred animals, and few studies have been done that follow clones or their offspring through their full lifespan.
Bruce Knight, USDA undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs, says in the Journal that he can't rule out the presence of clone offspring in the food supply: "There's no way to differentiate them."
The Reuters article says major food companies including Tyson Foods Inc, the largest US meat company, and Smithfield Foods Inc have said they would avoid using cloned animals because of safety concerns.
The Center for Food Safety and Friends of the Earth said 20 food producers and retailers vowed not to use ingredients from cloned animals, and the list includes Kraft Foods, General Mills, Campbell Soup Co, Nestle, California Pizza Kitchen, and Supervalu.
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