Technology and Business Law Blog

Law Passed by California that Requires Cloned Food to be Labeled.

Consumer Union had been putting pressure to get a legislation signed into law which would require food products made from cloned milk and meat to be labeled.

Initially the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not see the need to label the food derived from cloning and felt that it did not find evidence of unique food safety hazards in milk and meat from cloned animals. The legislation called California Senate Bill 63 by Sen. Carole Midgen, D-San Francisco which required labeling of cloned milk and meat had passed the legislature and was sent to the Governor for his signature.

Sen. Midgen felt that it was a prudent policy to at least let consumers know what’s on their grocery store shelves. I totally agree with this it is best to inform the consumer and let them decide. The FDA’s analysis is over a limited number of samples and over a limited period of time and so one does not know the long term effects of consuming these cloned food products.

But, here is an article with a completely opposite view point called “Labeling Cloned Food is Unnecessary” written by Henry Miller, M.D., who is a fellow at the Hoover institution, Stanford University. He states that “instead of educating or serving a legitimate consumers’ right to know certain information, mandatory labels on food from cloned animals would imply a warning, or at least would be misconstrued by some consumers as a suggestion, that food from cloned animals differs in an important way, such as safety or nutrition, although it does not. The FDA’s current approach to labeling, which has been dubbed “need to know,” has been upheld both directly and indirectly by various federal court decisions.”

On Friday California passed the first law that would require cloned food to be labeled. A national survey in May 2007 conducted by Consumers Union found that 89 percent of Americans want to see cloned food labeled. An additional 69 percent said that they have concerns about cloned meat and dairy products in the food supply. Similar bills have been introduced in various states which are awaiting action to be taken. It will be interesting to see how it would be received at the Federal level since Republicans are opposed to a law of this sort which would hurt the corporations.


September 14, 2007 Posted by | Cloned food, FDA, Labeling | 2 Comments