BIO Supports FDA’s Safety Conclusions on Animal Cloning

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (Tuesday, January 15, 2008) - Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Greenwood today issued the following statement in response to a risk assessment published today by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the safety of milk and meat products from cloned animals and their offspring:

“BIO strongly supports the FDA’s risk assessment which concludes that meat and milk products from animal clones and their offspring are safe for human consumption, and are no different from foods from livestock produced through other breeding methods.  The biotechnology industry applauds FDA for its comprehensive scientific review of this new assisted reproductive technology.  FDA’s risk assessment is consistent with numerous studies world wide that have found the food from animal clones and their offspring to be safe.  With this safety conclusion, ranchers and livestock producers may begin to choose cloning as a technology that will allow the rapid use of the best genetics to produce healthy animals.

“Livestock 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 consistent manner.

 “FDA’s extensive review of over 700 scientific research studies, conducted over the past 30 years, has determined that foods from animal clones and their offspring are equivalent to foods from other livestock.  These findings are consistent with two reports by the National Academy of Sciences.

“The biotechnology industry looks forward to working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and members of the food value chain to support an orderly transition and introduction of products from cloning technology into the marketplace.  In December 2007, the major animal cloning companies introduced a Supply Chain Management Program, an animal clone registry database that allows food companies to identify animal clones.  BIO believes that this tracking system will support a gradual transition of products derived from cloning into the marketplace by helping to promote a wider variety of choices in the world’s food supply and support smooth trade transactions.

BIO represents more than 1,150 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology technologies. BIO also produces the annual BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world.

Note to Editors:  BIO will host a media teleconference on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2008 at 2:30 p.m. EST that will feature a panel of experts on animal cloning.  To access the teleconference, dial 800.895.1241, and provide the operator with the conference identification code “BIO.”

Note to Broadcast Editors: 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://www.clonesafety.org/imagelibrary/videos/.

Additional scientific resources on animal cloning and downloadable photos and video can be found at www.CloneSafety.org.

Upcoming BIO Events

 ·   BIO-Asia Partnering Conference 
    January 28-29, 2008
    Tokyo, Japan

 ·   BIO CEO & Investor Conference 
    February 11-13, 2008
    New York, NY

 ·   Partnering for Global Health  
    March 10-12, 2008
    Washington, DC

 ·   BIO-Europe Spring 
    April 7-9, 2008
    Madrid, Spain

 ·   BIO National Venture Conference 
    April 22-23, 2008
    Boston, Mass.

 ·   World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology & Bioprocessing  
    April 27-30, 2008
    Chicago, Ill.

 ·   2008 BIO International Convention 
    June 17-20, 2008
    San Diego, Calif.

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About BIO
BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIOtechNOW is BIO's blog chronicling “innovations transforming our world” and the BIO Newsletter is the organization’s bi-weekly email newsletter. Subscribe to the BIO Newsletter.