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Cloned Opinions

The Food and Drug Administration’s approval this week of food from cloned animals drew a storm of reaction from the food industry and beyond. It would appear that the closer the issue gets to the consumer level, the more likely there will be outright opposition or — at the very least — caution and heavily qualified approval. We’ve provided a rundown of several that you should find interesting:

Retailers: Although the Food Marketing Institute stated last year that retailers trust the FDA’s ability to determine what’s safe, some retailers said they flat-out refuse to sell cloned meat or milk. Kroger said as much in an LA Times story, as did Whole Foods in a statement earlier this month.

Government: The U.S. Department of Agriculture supports the FDA’s report, but asks that suppliers uphold a voluntary moratorium to keep cloned animals off the market for right now. Then there’s Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), who forwarded an amendment in this year’s farm bill to delay the FDA’s cloning decision. She said the FDA acted “recklessly.”

Industry Organizations: The Organic Trade Association again emphasized that cloned animals will not make their way into organic products. Meanwhile, the American Meat Institute said it will review the issue further, and the National Milk Producers Federation voiced its support for the USDA’s call for moratorium.

Watchdog Groups: The Center for Science in the Public Interest is satisfied with the safety of cloned animals, but believes ethical and environmental implications are still a question mark. The Center for Food Safety, on the other hand, believes the FDA has opened “Pandora’s Box.”