by Marion Nestle
Jan 19 2008

Is safety the only issue? I don’t think so

About the previous posting on animal cloning, rj asks: What are the possibly negative consequences from consuming say cloned poultry? Does it have to do with abnormal gene expressions which may somehow impact the composition of said food item? This also makes me wonder about why genetically modified foods fire off alarms with some people…with respect to genetically modified foods [studies]…have concluded GM foods are safe…you could infer that GM foods are safe for humans too. What are your thoughts on this, Marion?”

Easy. Just because–or even if–a food is safe, it does not necessarily have to be acceptable. I am willing to grant that GM and cloned foods are probably safe, but so what? I devote the first chapter of my book, Safe Food, to a serious discussion of this question. To summarize: if you have concerns–moral, ethical, religious, social, or political–about the way food is produced, you might choose not to eat GM or cloned foods. But you don’t have a choice, because neither is labeled. I think they should be.

  • Maggie Gosselin

    Besides human health risks, it seems that one of the scariest results of cloning might be even less genetic diversity in our food system.

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  • Fentry

    Doesn’t it seem odd, that a government that is purportedly “for and by the people” would purposefully keep information from the people that they really desire?

  • Bix

    Maggie – excellent point!

    I think foods from cloned animals should be labeled.

  • Lien

    I also think meat from cloned animal must be labeled so the consumer could decide whether they want it or not. I am so glad that organic meat will not come from cloned animal, at least for now. Whether clone meat is safe or not i must say that only time could tell. Based on what i’ve been reading about the health effect of other food like magarine, trans-fat, high fructose corn syrup, … it usually takes about at at least 30 years to be known to the public. In the mean time many people could have suffered without knowing why.

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