Food derived from cloned animals and their offspring

In our unrelenting quest in solving our food supply problems, brilliant scientists and policy makers been harping on this great solution of everything.

"How about cloning animals for food, that will increase meat production for the masses?" says one native scientist

Rich corporate farmer replies : "What a utterly brilliant idea, lets push this draft to the FDA and get it passed."

I am so proud of myself for giving up eating mammals. A Boo boo to you mammal meat eaters!


Food derived from cloned animals and their offspring

(Updated January 2008)


Cloned animals and their products have been the subject of recent and increasing attention and discussion among government policymakers, research scientists, media and the general public in some countries.

In January 2008 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its final risk assessment report see and the European Food Safety Agency released for public comment a draft opinion that the meat and milk from cloned animals is safe see .

What is cloning?

Animal cloning is an emerging technology involving a number of species including food producing animals, such as cattle, pigs, sheep and goats.

It is a different technology to genetic modification which allows food producers to alter certain characteristics of a food crop by introducing genetic material and proteins from another source - an example of this is a corn plant with a gene that makes it resistant to insect attack.

Cloning animals involves the replacement of all genetic material in an egg with a mature cell containing the complete genetic code from the donor animal to be cloned. The mature egg is then implanted into a surrogate mother who carries the cloned animal to term.

Are there cloned animals in Australia and New Zealand?

In Australia and New Zealand, the cloning of livestock animals which is restricted to small numbers of elite breeding stock, predominantly dairy and beef cattle (less than 100 in Australia) and small numbers of sheep, is still in the experimental stages.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has liaised closely with Australian and New Zealand leading researchers and industry in the livestock cloning area for several years now. FSANZ has been informed by those researchers that cloned animals produced by them are currently confined to the research environment and do not enter the food chain. In the future the cloned animal itself is unlikely to end up in the food supply as they are expensive experimental animals.

As cloning techniques continue to improve a number of countries are considering the issue of the safety of consumption of products from cloned animals, their progeny and further descendants.

FSANZ has been monitoring international developments on this issue for a number of years and has assessed the food safety evidence contained in the US Food and Drug Administration draft risk assessment report and will examine the findings of the final risk assessment.

For more information see: Review on the Current Status of the Extent and Use of Cloning in Animal Production in Australia and New Zealand 2003

Source: FSANZ

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