F.D.A. Jumps the (Cloned) Shark

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


The New York Times reports that the F.D.A. offered a draft resolution today, announcing its intention to approve the sale of meat and milk from cloned animals. A voluntary moratorium on food from cloned animals has been in place since 2001 to allow the F.D.A. to study its safety. But critics say the science is still shaky.

The F.D.A., which has long maintained that cows given growth hormones produce milk which is “indistinguishable” from that of hormone-free cows, concludes that milk and meat from cloned animals is “virtually indistinguishable” from those of—let’s call them real animals. The agency isn’t even suggesting any special labeling for the products. I find that frightening. And roughly 65 percent of consumers agree, indicating in a recent poll that they are uncomfortable with the idea of cloned food. The dairy industry has also expressed some discomfort, after a survey revealed that 14 percent of women would stop using dairy products altogether if milk from clones was introduced.

A few juicy highlights from the Times story:

[E]ven if two animals have identical genes, they can turn out differently if those genes are turned on or off at different times.…These differences are presumed to account in large measure for the low success rate of cloning. Fetuses can grow unusually large…Many clones die during gestation or shortly after birth. Some are born with deformed heads or limbs or problems with their hearts, lungs or other organs.

Yummy.

The draft assessment based its conclusions in part on studies, some done by cloning companies, comparing the composition of the milk, meat and blood of cloned animals and conventional animals.

Said one F.D.A. officer: “I ate this meat and I found it delicious. I ate this meat and I found it delicious.” I’m convinced.

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate