American Indian Council
Action Alerts & Updates
Cloning of Animals for the Livestock Industry
In mid-January, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a ruling permitting the use of cloned animals for human food. Although the FDA asked that producers voluntarily maintain a moratorium, the agency clearly gave a green light to industry use of cloned animal progeny.
This decision flies in the face of what many animal protection and consumer advocacy groups, as well as the public, have long lobbied against. The FDA has chosen to favor industry interests while disregarding the 70% of Americans who have spoken out against cloning. At a time when the American public is increasingly concerned with factory farming’s effect on animal welfare and the environment, the FDA has blatantly omitted consideration of the impact cloning has on animals and opened the doors for more reckless expansion of factory farming and agribusiness.
Cloning is another mechanism by which to treat animals as production units rather than living, feeling and breathing beings. According to cloning studies, only five percent of cloning attempts are “successful” (even in the most optimistic scenario, no more than 20-30 percent of cloning attempts will succeed) and those who do survive, commonly suffer from deformities, stillbirths, heart, kidney, and liver disorders. The surrogate mothers used in cloning research often suffer from fetal overgrowth, repeated surgeries and pregnancy complications that have resulted in death.
Animal cloning is ethically and morally unsound—and once the technology gains a foothold, there is no turning
back. And unlike drugs approved by the FDA, cloned animal products cannot be recalled. Neither the FDA nor
the USDA plan to label cloned animal products.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski introduced legislation in the Senate to urge further study of the cloned animal issue. While this issue has been voted on, and passed by the Senate, the House has yet to act. Please contact your federal representative (locate your representative at www.vote-smart.org) and urge him or her to vote “yes” on any legislation that places restrictions on cloning.
Regardless of pending legislation in your state involving cloned animals please contact your state legislators today to express your concerns about cloning. Your voice and those of your neighbors, friends, family and coworkers are important. Please act on this critical issue today!
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