Sen. Migden Unveils Legislation Requiring Labeling of Cloned Food Products

US - U.S. Food and Drug Administration could approve putting cloned meats, dairy products into our food chain as early as May; SB 63 passes first committee 6-4.
calendar icon 16 April 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
Carole Migden

Calling for protection of “consumers’ right to know”, State Senator Carole Migden unveiled legislation which would require that milk and meat products from cloned animals that are intended for human consumption be clearly labeled. The legislation, SB 63, also received its first legislative hearing this afternoon in Senate Health Committee where it passed on 6-4 vote.

The legislation, SB 63, was the focus of a State Capitol news conference where Sen. Migden (D-San Francisco/Marin) posed the question “Wouldn’t you want to know if you’re drinking milk from a cloned cow or feeding your children pork chops from a ‘somatic cell nuclear transfer event’?” Polls show that two-thirds of American consumers are “uncomfortable” with the idea of cloning animals, and 43 percent believe food from cloned animals would be unsafe to eat.

“California consumers want to know what they’re eating and what we’re feeding our children,” said Migden. “People have the right to know if food is organic, if it contains pesticides or growth-promoting hormones, or if it’s from cloned or natural-bred animals. Consumers certainly don’t want to wrestle with moral issues like cloning while they’re doing the family grocery shopping.”

Migden was joined by two national consumer groups, the Center for Food Safety and Consumers Union. Also participating were Marin County organic dairy owner Albert Straus of Straus Family Creamery and renowned Marin County cheese maker Sue Conley, owner of Cowgirl Creamery. Eric Schlosser, bestselling author of Fast Food Nation, The Dark Side of the American Meal and Elliot Katz, DVM and founder of In Defense of Animals, also spoke in support of SB 63.

Migden said SB 63 is necessary because the FDA is poised to approve adding cloned products into our food supply as early as this year. Last December the FDA approved a draft decision that meat and milk from cloned cattle, pigs and goats are “as safe to eat as food from conventionally bred animals”. If the FDA confirms its decision after the public comment period ends in May, food products from cloned animals can be introduced into the food chain – making our country the first to allow products form cloned animals to be sold for consumption.

Source: California Chronicle

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