Monday, January 21, 2008

Allow Meat to be Labeled "Clone Free"

The FDA has determined that meat and milk from cloned animals are safe to consume. But some people would rather not consume cloned products, thank you very much. A proper answer to such consumer desires is labeling: Meat, milk, cheese etc. can be labeled clone free. From the story:

Although the FDA said last week that it will not require special labels on foods from clones, legislation already introduced in the Senate could force the agency's hand. Short of that, many consumers are demanding that the agency allow food from conventional animals to be labeled "clone-free"--a marketing move that could dash industry hopes of getting beyond the public debate over clones.
Permission to so label should not require permission.

Of course, the industry doesn't like such approaches. In our book No Contest: Corporate Lawyers and the Perversion of Justice in America, Ralph Nader and I recount how Monsanto, the producer of bovine growth hormone, sued dairies that labeled their milk BGH free on the basis of unfair competition! It was an egregious example of corporate bullying, that thankfully didn't work.

Don't be surprised if the same tactic is tried with cloned products. Too often, large corporations don't want people to truly exercise consumer choice.

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2 Comments:

At January 22, 2008 , Blogger Jimmy the Dhimmi said...

I can sort-of understand the industry's position here, in that the manufaturers of "clone free" food products are appealling to people who fear some sort of health effects, rather than those who may have an ethical problem with cloning animals. There simply is no difference nutritionally between eating naturally conceived or cloned animals.

None-the-less, I believe in free market principles, and therefore they should be able to label their foods in this way, and manufacturers of cloned food should not be required to label their products.

After all, who here has never eaten a cloned vegetable?

 
At May 01, 2008 , Blogger DeShon said...

So maybe all of us have eaten a cloned veggie or fruit, but did anyone ever ask the American people if that is what they wanted to eat? Did we have a choice? I don’t think so because we have no idea what we are eating. I am sure that the FDA will win out with not forcing the companies to have "clone" labels. But we should have a choice as to what we buy. The biotech corporations know that if the "clone-free" labels start glutting the market, they will be out of business. Honestly, I hope they are. These corporations have no idea what the long term side-effects of these clones will have on animals or people. The whole thing is too scary for words.

 

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