Saturday, April 05, 2008

Japan to study safety of cloned animals for food

Japan will study the safety of cloned animals for food, after a report
concluded there is no biological difference in the meat and milk of cloned
and non-cloned cattle, officials said on Wednesday.

"The safety commission has been asked to deliberate on the matter," an
Agriculture Ministry official said.

It was not immediately clear how long it would take for the Food Safety
Commission, Japan's food safety watchdog which will be looking into the
issue, to reach a conclusion.

"There is no prior case that we can compare it with," an official with the
commission said. He said the safety of cloned cattle and also pigs would be

Many Japanese consumers, notoriously sensitive to food safety, are likely to
oppose moves to introduce meat or milk from cloned animals into the human
food supply, however.

The farm ministry official said Japan has been breeding cloned cattle since
1998. As of September last year, a cumulative total 535 cloned cattle had
been bred in Japan, all for research purposes.

The United States is ahead of Japan as it has already made a final risk

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ruled in January that food from cloned
cattle, hogs and goats and their offspring is as safe as other food, opening
the door to bringing the meat and milk from cloned animals into the food
supply chain.