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Release No. 0012.08
Office of Communications (202) 720-4623

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USDA Statement on FDA Risk Assessment on Animal Clones

January 15, 2008

* Questions and Answers: FDA's Final Risk Assessment, Management Plan and Industry Guidance on Animal Clones and their Progeny

"USDA fully supports and agrees with FDA's final assessment that meat and milk from cattle, swine and goat clones pose no safety concerns, and these products are no different than food from traditionally bred animals.

Now that FDA has evaluated the scientific data and public comments and issued its final risk assessment, USDA will join with technology providers, producers, processors, retailers and domestic and international customers to facilitate the marketing of meat and milk from clones. We'll be working closely with stakeholders to ensure a smooth and seamless transition into the marketplace for these products.

At the same time, we understand there are currently only about 600 animal clones in the U.S., and most of them are breeding animals, so few clones will ever arrive in the marketplace. Further, USDA has encouraged technology providers to maintain their voluntary moratorium on sending milk and meat from animal clones into the food supply during this transition time.

Many farmers and ranchers routinely use other assisted reproductive technologies such as artificial insemination, embryo transfer and in vitro fertilization to produce superior animals for milk, meat or breeding purposes. Cloning is another breeding technique that has evolved and has now been demonstrated to be safe. It is helpful in creating genetic twins of the very best animals who can transmit superior characteristics to their offspring and quickly improve a herd.

In conjunction with FDA, USDA also will implement the report language in the 2008 omnibus appropriations bill suggesting that we study domestic agricultural and international trade economic implications of commercialization of milk and meat from animal clones."