WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has concluded meat and milk from cloned cattle, swine and goats are as safe to eat as food from normally bred animals.
The announcement Tuesday capped years of controversy and study and included the offspring of clones from the three species traditionally consumed as food.
The FDA said there was insufficient information for it to reach a conclusion on the safety of food from clones of other animal species, such as sheep.
In 2001, U.S. producers agreed to refrain from introducing meat or milk from clones or their progeny into the nation's food supply until the FDA could evaluate the safety issue. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it will now work to provide a smooth and orderly market transition.
The FDA said it will not require labeling or any other additional measures since food from cloned cattle, swine, and goats or their offspring is no different from food from conventionally bred animals.
An animal clone is a genetic copy of a donor animal, similar to an identical twin, but born at a different time. The FDA said cloning is not the same as genetic engineering, which involves altering, adding or deleting DNA.