2003N-0573 Draft Animal Cloning Risk Assessment
FDA Comment Number : EC837
Submitter : Mr. Zachary Hosford Date & Time: 01/04/2007 10:01:18
Organization : Mr. Zachary Hosford
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
To Whom It May Concern:

While I am disturbed by the prospect of the legalization of sales of meat and milk from cloned animals, I cannot offer concrete evidence that there is a heath risk posed to the American consumer. However, I would still prefer that these products be banned for several reasons. I understand that the economic matters involved in this issue are not in the purview of the Food & Drug Administration, and I will limit my comments accordingly.

First, while the studies were surely performed by competent scientists, I am not convinced that any findings can be considered completely accurate or thorough due to the limited information available at the time of publishing. There are no data (and will not be for decades to come) regarding the results of human ingestion of meat and milk from cloned animals over the course of a lifetime. There is, after all, a lengthy list of products that were cleared by the FDA that turned out to be harmful.

Second, I am concerned that there is negative information that is not being publicly released given that several private companies have not fully disclosed their records regarding the quality of such products. Obviously, these companies have large investments (and potential profits) at stake, and have an interest in refusing to release any information that may be damaging. In short, I do not trust that my health is the top priority for these companies. This point is especially germane as not long ago it was perfectly legal to feed cows the ground-up remains (including brains) of other cows in the name of economic efficiency.

Third, the consumer should have the right to know what he/she is purchasing and consuming. One may posit that the mere presence of a label indicating that a particular product has originated from a cloned animal will deter buyers, but this argument has little merit. If American consumers deem the sale of cloned animal products to be acceptable then any such label should not negatively affect them. After all, the product would still have the FDA seal of approval on the container and a 678-page document to back it up.

In summation, I urge you to withhold legalization of the sale of products from cloned animals until the safety to the consumer can be established more conclusively. If consumers decide that they have no objections with these products (although I am not sure how this will be established considering that the comments sent through the FDA's website will not be representative of the population as a whole), then please affix labels to the containers confirming their origin. Otherwise, the consumers are likely to be oblivious. Even if the meat and milk prove to be benign over long periods of time, the consumers should still be allowed to make their own decisions. We can only do this if we are given enough information to make that decision in the first place.

While I will not be affected by the outcome of this decision as much as most of my fellow consumers (I eat a predominately organic diet), I am still passionate about this subject. The well-being of millions of people is at stake, so please do not treat this issue lightly.

Thank you for your time.