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FDA Finds Meat, Milk from Clones Safe to Eat

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that meat and milk from cloned animals are safe to eat.

Critics immediately denounced the FDA's conclusions, saying the agency ignored the ethical problems with cloning.

Cloning creates a genetic copy of an animal, so making clones of a cow that produces an amazing amount of milk, for example, could be quite lucrative. Several companies are trying to make a business out of cloning; those animals could then be used for breeding.

FDA scientists studied the chemical composition of meat and milk from clones and decided that it's identical to what's on the market already. The European Food Safety Authority, in a draft report last week, came to a similar conclusion.

But opponents of cloning pointed to other data in the report, showing that the cloning process creates many animals that cannot survive.

Also, many clones are unnaturally large when they're born, which can harm their surrogate mothers.

But FDA officials say their job is just to look at food safety, not ethics.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Dan Charles is NPR's food and agriculture correspondent.
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