Public Deserves To Know If Their Food Comes From A Cloned Animal, Says Mikulski

WASHINGTON - Responding to indications that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may soon endorse the use of meat, milk, and other food from cloned animals, Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) plans to introduce the Cloned Food Labeling Act today. The legislation will require the FDA and the Department of Agriculture to mandate that all food that comes from cloned animals be labeled as such. The label will read: THIS PRODUCT IS FROM A CLONED ANIMAL OR ITS PROGENY.

"The public deserves to know if their food comes from a cloned animal. My legislation will help the American public make an informed decision," said Senator Mikulski. "I am strongly opposed to the FDA approving meat and milk products from cloned animals for human consumption. If cloned food is safe, let it onto the market, but give consumers the information they need to avoid these products if they choose to. We need to let Americans - many of whom find this repugnant - speak with their dollars and choose the food that they feel confident is safe."

This legislation would require labeling for all meat and dairy products sold in all retail supermarkets and restaurants. It includes not only cloned animal products, but also any of its "progeny," because cloned animals may be used to breed other animals. Distributors will incur civil penalties if this is violated.

"Once the FDA determines this is safe, they said they will allow the food to enter the market unidentified, unlabeled, unbeknownst to all of us and completely indistinguishable from all other food," said Senator Mikulski. "We won't be able to tell which foods were made the good old-fashioned way and which came from a cloned animal."

Studies have shown the American public actively opposes cloning. Gallup Polls report more than 65 percent of Americans think it is immoral to clone animals and the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology found that a similar percentage say that, despite FDA approval, they won't buy cloned milk.

The FDA is currently accepting public comments on their decision. Electronic comments can be submitted at: .

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