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The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has issued a draft opinion that food from cloned livestock is safe to eat.
“Healthy clones and healthy offspring do not show any significant difference from their conventional counterparts”, the EFSA said in its opinion, to which it is now inviting views before drawing a definite conclusion in May.
It is expected that the US Food & Drug Agency will also shortly issue an opinion. The Financial Times has pointed out that a positive decision by the USF&DA “ would boost a handful of biotechnology companies that have been working on cloning animals, mainly cattle, for years. They say cloning would help farmers by increasing the availability of elite breeding stock”.
Excuse me? A cloned animal would be classified as “elite breeding stock”? Hmmm.
But, isn't it nice that the biotech companies just want to help farmers. So thoughtful.
Also thoughtful is US Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski, who has suggested that F&DA delay its decision: “We do not know enough about the long-term effects of introducing cloned animals, or their offspring, into our food supply. What's the rush?”, asked Senator Mikulski.
But Senator, the biotech companies are just in a rush to help farmers.
What to do? Well, here is a suggestion. The scientists in EFSA and the F&DA will be the people on whom further tests will be carried out. They will eat food from cloned animals, let's say for a period of two years. And we will monitor them. We will ask them to put their mouths where they hope the money will be.
Simple, really. So. let's publish the names of all the members of the EFSA, to begin, and should they come up with a positive opinion in May, let's get to work feeding them cloned meat and cloned animal by-products. Should the F&DA decide the same, then ditto for our American cousins.
Now, wouldn't that be dinner invitation to cause trepidation: “Please come round for a meal of cloned food products, next Thursday. Bring a bottle”, yours, the EFSA...