In the end, FDA noted in its final ruling that the agency “neither supports nor opposes cloning” and “shares the concerns voiced in many of the public opinions regarding the increased incidence of adverse health outcomes in clones and recognizes the importance of mitigating these risks.”
But the commissioners based their judgment on scientific data, and thus concluded that, “Because our risk assessment has clearly shown that there are no food-safety concerns for the meat and milk from clones and the progeny of clones, we do not believe that there is a material fact that would be required to be included in the labeling of these foods.”
Yet despite the mountains of evidence, the moral questions linger.
As Michael Tobias, the author, filmmaker and ecologist who is heavily involvement in the animal rights movement, wrote in Forbes online this week, “While many biotechnology watchdogs, ethicists and animal rights proponents have called endeavors [to refine cloning] nothing less than blind alleyways—or worse—there is no question that cloning represents one of the most ambiguous temptations in the wake of humanity’s utter mishandling of the earth; a planet of life that was never given to us to manipulate in the first place.”
Whether cloning represents more “mishandling” or whether it’s a step toward wiser, better managed use of o food animal resources humanity relies upon is a question science has already resolved.
Whether public opinion follows suit is far less certain.
Dan Murphy is as veteran food-industry journalist and commentator