No matter where you stand on cloning, we here at can predict that the majority of consumers want foods that come from cloning to be labeled as such. The long awaited Country of Origin Labeling Law (COOL) went into effect this year. After years of debate, now producers of fresh meats, many fruits and vegetables, and assorted other products are required to state clearly on packages where the food originates. Consumers have said it over and over. They want to know where their food comes from.

It all began when the world was introduced to Dolly, the cloned sheep, back in 1996. Acceptance of this kind of genetic manipulation has been slow. However, at Pollard Farms in Enid, Oklahoma, producing cows with genetically balanced traits is the goal, and the reason there are 22 clones of some of the most superior livestock in the world.

In 2008, the FDA gave the green light on selling food from clones, and Japan as well as the European Union have since done the same. And even though the FDA stated that these products are indistiguishable form their non-clone counterparts, for some consumers and for some major food companies, it is an issue of ethics or food safety. However, with much attention being paid to the need for food production to increase rapidly to keep up with the population, and if cloning for food becomes a part of the solution, some may reconsider their opinions.

The pros to cloning are that farmers can produce bigger cows and larger amounts of milk in addition to producing healthier animals that can resist diseases. These animals also yield more meat and milk with less feed, resulting in a smaller environmental footprint. Less feed, means less fertilizer, and less diesel.

But despite the pros, a recent survey conducted by the International Food Information Council found that half of Americans view animal cloning as “not very favorable” or “not at all favorable.” The survey also found that about half of Americans are unlikely to buy meat, milk or eggs coming from cloned animals, even if the FDA says it is safe.

Cloning could prove to be a safe and effective method of feeding the growing population and increasing sustainability. But it may also take a while for consumers to trust products from cloned animals. In the meantime, consumers feel they have the right to know where their foods come from and how they are produced.



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