US milk company rejects cloned cow's milk
Despite a preliminary FDA approval to meat and milk from cloned animals the
largest milk company in the US, Dean Foods, said it will refuse milk from cloned
The Food and Drug Administration gave preliminary approval to meat and milk
from cloned animals and could grant final approval by the end of the year.
Federal scientists say there is virtually no difference between clones and
conventional cows, pigs or goats.
Smaller companies such as Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream and
Organic Valley previously have said they oppose milk from clones.
Dallas-based Dean Foods is a $10 billion
company that owns Land O'Lakes and Horizon Organic, among dozens of other
brands. In a statement issued Thursday, the company said its customers and
consumers don't want milk from cloned animals.
"Numerous surveys have shown that
Americans are not interested in buying dairy products that contain milk from
cloned cows and Dean Foods is responding to the needs of our customers," the
Public opinion mixed
Milk processing companies worry that
concern over cloning could turn people away from dairy products. So far, public
opinion appears mixed. A September poll by the Pew Initiative on Food and
Biotechnology found that 64% of respondents were uncomfortable with animal
cloning. And a December poll by the University of Maryland found that the same
percentage would buy, or consider buying, such food if the government said it
Dean Foods did not say whether it would use milk from the
offspring of cloned animals. Cloning companies say the purpose of cloning is not
to put many cloned livestock into the food supply. Instead, the goal is to make
a genetic copy of a superior animal and then put its offspring into the food
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