by Marion Nestle

Currently browsing posts about: Animals

Sep 22 2008

FDA issues guidelines on cloned animals

The FDA says meat from cloned animals is safe and has produced a bunch of web documents to reassure you that you can eat these things.  Will the meat be labeled as cloned?  Of course not.  The FDA guidelines will be up for comment for the next 60 days so if you have an opinion on this development, now is your chance.  I particularly recommend the Q’s and A’s on the FDA site.  Here’s one example:  “Q: Will food from GE animals be in the food supply? A: FDA has so far not approved or authorized any GE animals for use in food. However, we are reviewing applications…We can not predict when we will complete those reviews, but we will not approve any GE animal for food use unless we find that the food from those GE animals is safe.”

Apr 29 2008

Pew report: industrial animal agriculture

The Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production, of which I was a member, released its report today: Putting Meat on the Table: Industrial Farm Animal Production in America. This was a two-year investigation of the effects of our current system of intensive animal production on the environment, communities, human health, and the animals themselves. For me, this was an opportunity to visit huge dairy farms, feedlots, pig farms, and facilities housing 1.2 million chickens. The big issues? Antibiotics and waste. The big surprise? Laws exist; they just aren’t being enforced. This was quite an education.

The press response has been interesting, and somewhat predictable. Here’s what the Washington Post has to say. The meat industry is not pleased, as is evident from the report in the Kansas City Star.

Apr 9 2008

USDA keeps moratorium on cloned animals

The USDA says it has no intention of ending its recommended voluntary moratorium on introduction of meat and milk from cloned animals into the food supply. This continues to be an example of bizarre regulation. The government says it’s OK to eat such foods; it just thinks companies should not try to sell them. “Clone-free” labels, anyone?

Oct 19 2007

New rules for grass-fed

The USDA has just come out with a proposal for voluntary rules to govern use of the term “grass-fed” in marketing food animals. Reading Federal Register notices is always a lot of fun but if you don’t feel like wading through the fine print responses to comments on this issue, skip right to page 58637 and read the section titled “claim and standard.” As of November 15, if meat is labeled grass-fed, the animals have to have been fed grass, hay, and vitamin supplements. That’s all. No grain. As I read it, the animals don’t have to be outside grazing, but maybe I misunderstand? Check it out!

And here’s what the New York Times has to say about this rule.