WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 28, 2006) – Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), issued the following statement in response to a draft risk assessment provided today by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regarding the safety of milk and meat products from cloned animals and their offspring:
“BIO supports the FDA scientific draft risk assessment which concludes that meat and milk products from cloned animals and their offspring are safe for human consumption, and are no different from foods produced through other breeding methods. As a new assisted reproductive technology, cloning can consistently produce healthier animals and a healthier meat and milk supply. FDA’s draft risk assessment is consistent with numerous studies that have found the food from animal clones and their offspring to be safe.
“While there are currently no known products from cloned animals and their offspring in the market, the publication of the FDA’s draft risk assessment will begin an essential public discussion on the technology and how it can be successfully used by farmers and ranchers. BIO supports the continued responsible use of this technology, and encourages the continued observance of the voluntary moratorium on the introduction of food products from cloned animals and their offspring into the marketplace. We look forward to the future publication of the final risk assessment from FDA.”
“Animal cloning is the latest step in a long history of reproductive tools for farmers and ranchers, and can effectively help livestock producers deliver what consumers want: high-quality, safe, abundant and nutritious foods in a conscientious and consistent manner. Globally, this technology may provide people in developing countries with greater access to protein-rich animal food products which will increase community health and well-being.”
“FDA’s extensive review of numerous scientific research studies, conducted over the past 30 years, has determined that foods from animal clones and their offspring are equivalent to foods from conventional livestock. These findings are consistent with two reports by the National Academy of Sciences.”
“Using the tools of biotechnology to produce more desirable and healthier farm animals is not a new practice. For decades, livestock producers have used genomics to improve the health and efficiency of animals that provide healthy and nutritious meat and milk.”
BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and 31 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health-care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. www.bio.org.
Note to Editors: BIO and the Federation of Animal Science Societies (FASS) will host a media teleconference on Thursday, Dec. 28 at 1:00 p.m. EST that will feature a panel of experts on animal cloning. To access the teleconference, dial 877-707-9628, and provide the operator with the conference identification code “7BIO.”
Video clips of BIO’s Managing Director of Animal Biotechnology, Dr. Barbara Glenn, as well as 4-H youth commenting on what cloning means to the next generation of livestock producers, can be accessed at http://220.127.116.11/BIO_Revised.
Additional scientific resources on animal cloning can be found at www.CloneSafety.org.