Cloning Cruelty

On December 28, 2006, the Food and Drug Administration released its draft risk assessment on the safety of meat and milk from cloned animals, which endorses cloning while neglecting to adequately address the welfare of these animals and their surrogate mothers. The public has 90 days to submit comments to the agency before it formally approves or prohibits the sale of these products.

No regulations exist to protect farm animals in the United States during cloning research yet the risk assessment discloses that cloned animals are more likely to suffer birth defects and health problems when very young. Recent cloning research has resulted in high failure rates, premature deaths, and such abnormalities as intestinal blockages; diabetes; shortened tendons; deformed feet; weakened immune systems; dysfunctional hearts, brains, livers, and kidneys; respiratory distress; and circulatory problems. Surrogate mothers used in farm animal cloning research also suffer from reduced welfare from fetal overgrowth, repeated surgeries and injections, and pregnancy complications that have resulted in death.

American consumers are increasingly concerned about the treatment of animals raised and slaughtered for food. Unfortunately for consumers, the FDA may not require that labels specify when food items include the products of cloned animals and their offspring.

We urge consumers not to accept cloned products in the marketplace and to make their concerns known to the FDA.

For more information on the animal welfare issues associated with cloning, please go here.