The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concluded on Thursday that food from cloned animals is safe for human consumption, reported the Associated Press. The officials also deemed special labels are not necessary, but a final decision is still months away.
A five-year study revealed the cloned livestock is “virtually indistinguishable” from traditional livestock.
"[M]eat and milk from cattle, swine and goat clones is as safe to eat as the food we eat every day,” said Stephen Sundlof, director of the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine.
Sundlof said because their are no known differences between food products from cloned animals and their natural counterparts, “it would be unlikely that FDA would require labeling in those cases."
The public can weigh in over the next three months on whether labels should mandated by the FDA.
Other research has revealed cloned animals more frequently die prematurely. Cloning also results in more deformed animals than other reproductive technologies, said Carol Tucker Foreman, director of food policy at the Consumer Federation of America.
Despite the FDA's determination, critics fear unknown, long-term health effects as a result of consuming food from cloned animals, in addition to questioning whether creating life in a lab is morally right. “Consumers are going to be having a product that has potential safety issues and has a whole load of ethical issues tied to it, without any labeling,” Joseph Mendelson, legal director of the Center for Food Safety, told the AP.