Is ‘Dolly’ Safe to Eat?

The FDA issued a preliminary summary of a risk analysis, which concluded that food from cloned animals or their offspring is as safe as conventional food. For some time, biotech companies have lobbied the FDA to declare “safe” all meat and milk from cloned animals, while consumer groups have expressed concern that the FDA is moving too quickly. The preliminary draft assessment has generated controversy (the full report will not be released for several weeks). Several independent science advisers to FDA have claimed there was not enough data in the agency’s report, especially on cloned pigs, to reach the conclusion that all milk and meat products were safe. Cattle, goats and pigs have been the main focus point of the assessment, but the findings also suggest that milk is safe. In addition to the science of risk assessment, the FDA will also have to respond to the ethical and economical aspects of the cloned products before the final report is issued.