It has been ten years since Dolly the sheep was first cloned in Scotland.
Now, a decision that could eventually put the meat and milk from cloned animals on grocery store shelves.
In an FDA report to be released on Thursday, researchers write:
”The meat and milk from clones and their progeny is as safe to eat as products from other animals.”
Dr. Barb Glenn PhD, of Biotech Industry Organization says, "A clone is not a genetically-engineered animal. No genes have been changed or moved or deleted. This is simply a genetic twin of another animal that we know to be one of the best on our farms or ranches."
Today in the US, there are roughly 600 clones, all created in petri dishes by replacing an egg's nucleus with the DNA from the donor animal.
The FDA researchers say since there is nothing to differentiate between an animal that has been cloned and one that hasn't, there is no need for a special label on cloned products.
But consumer advocates strongly disagree. Carol Tucker Foreman of the Consumer Federation of America says, "It will be sneaked into the market place and we at Consumer Federation of America think people should object to that."
Selling the idea to consumers may not be easy.
In surveys conducted this month, 64% of those asked were uncomfortable with animal cloning, while more than 30% said they would never buy meat or milk from a cloned animal.
Susan Ruland of the International Dairy Foods Association says, "There is a real trust people have in milk and milk products as a core part of our nutrition and our health, so you don't want to mess around with that."