though some of this might already have known this but this is a new development for me. If we can clone food, how come food is still expensive and there's still people starving to death? not to forget cloning still isnt perfected so who knows what the consequence of eating cloning food might be???Originally Posted by Yahoo!news
Calif. bill requires cloned food labels
SACRAMENTO - Steaks, pork chops, milk and other products from cloned livestock would have to be clearly labeled on grocers' shelves under a bill pending in the California Legislature.
If passed, the requirement could be more stringent than federal rules. The Food and Drug Administration is poised to give final approval for manufacturers to sell meat and milk from cloned cows, pigs and goats without any special labeling, although a bill introduced in Congress would require it.
Sen. Carole Migden, the San Francisco Democrat who authored the bill, said consumers deserve to know what they're buying and to be able to decide if they want to eat food from cloned animals. That is especially true because cloning isn't perfected and the long-term consequences of eating artificially produced animals cannot yet be studied, she said.
"Wouldn't you like to know if you're drinking milk from a cloned cow, or feeding your children pork chops from a somatic cell nuclear transfer event?" Migden said during a news conference last week before the Senate Health Committee voted 6-4 along party lines to support her bill.
At the conference, Migden was flanked by organic dairy farmers and other supporters wearing cow costumes and carrying placards that read "Not Milk — Cloned food is coming but you can stop it."
Migden said her bill isn't designed to undermine the Food and Drug Administration but noted the agency's problems in approving and regulating painkillers.
"They're an overburdened agency and not always 100 percent correct. They've been duped before on ... Celebrex and Vioxx," she said.
Migden pointed to recent polls she said suggest the FDA's ruling on cloned food could be influential with consumers.
A recent Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology survey, for example, found that 64 percent of consumers were leery of animal cloning. But a University of Maryland poll found that a nearly equal percentage said they would buy, or consider buying, such food if the government said it was safe.
If her bill passes, Migden said she will work with state agencies on the wording of a label.
"Whether it's 'cloned,' 'artificially created' or whatever, it won't be encumbering," she said.
Assemblyman Ira Ruskin, D-Redwood City, has introduced a similar bill in that chamber.
A bill introduced in Congress by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (news, bio, voting record), D-Maryland, would require cloned meat or milk products to carry a straightforward label: "This product is from a cloned animal or its progeny."
The California Cattlemen's Association and other industry groups oppose the legislation.
"We're sort of a little ahead of ourselves," said Matt Byrne, the association's executive vice president. "There's no meat or milk from cloned animals on the market, and there's no expectation that this will be an issue any time soon."
The FDA in December issued a preliminary report saying there was no evidence that eating meat from cloned cows, pigs and goats — or their offspring — presents concerns about food safety. The agency could grant final approval for manufacturers to sell cloned animal products by year's end.
Farmers and food safety experts who testified in support of Migden's bill said they feel a sense of urgency to make sure products from cloned animals are labeled. Without them, cloned DNA could quickly infiltrate the nation's food chain.
"Cloning is a radical new form of reproduction, and the long-term ramifications are unknown," said Eric Schlosser, author of "Fast Food Nation, the Dark Side of the American Meal," who testified in support of Migden's legislation. "This bill gives consumers the ability to choose if they want to be part of a huge food-safety experiment."
According to research by Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer Reports, the FDA has based its preliminary findings on limited samples, said Jean Halloran, the group's director of food policy initiatives. Findings that cloned pork could be safe, for example, were based on tests of just five pigs, while the findings about cows' milk were from 43 cows.
"Considering that 90 percent of cloned animals die because there's something wrong with them, we don't consider that to be an adequate safety assessment of what millions of people would be eating and drinking from millions of different animals," Halloran said.
"If cloning is such a wonderful thing, they should be proud to put a cloned label on their product."
Another consumer group, the Center for Food Safety, has challenged the FDA's findings. The center said they were based on scant data from peer-reviewed studies and failed to consider possible side effects of cloning.
With or without labels, consumers have at least one clue they're not eating cloned meat: The U.S. Department of Agriculture's green organic seal, given to food produced without pesticides or antibiotics, also means clone-free, according to the agency.