Cloning Around

US - An FDA ruling could spur growth at a Texas company that has the leg up on duplicating animals
calendar icon 1 January 2007
clock icon 1 minute read

At a ranch in Texas run by a biotechnology company, a dozen brown-and-white long-horn calves frolic in a fenced-off plot dotted with yellow wildflowers. The playful 2-week-old babies nudge one another and run together. If the calves seem unusually close, it's because they are. All clones of one show-champion longhorn, they share the exact same DNA but were borne by 12 different surrogate cows.

With a preliminary Food and Drug Administration ruling last week that it's safe to consume the meat or milk of cattle, pig, and goat clones, Austin-based ViaGen's three ranches could become home to many more cloned calves.

Since 2003, at the FDA's request, ViaGen has voluntarily held off on selling clones to breeders anxious to duplicate their prized livestock. But with the FDA's finding that "meat and milk from clones and their offspring are as safe as food we eat every day," companies like ViaGen have cleared the first hurdle in making cloning technology more common among livestock farmers.

Source: US News & World Report

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