Well there is a little hope anyway. Note this happended last Fri, Feb 14th. This bill was not passed
by an overwhelming of 79 to 14.
FDA APPROVAL OF CLONES STALLED BY PASSAGE OF MIKULSKI-SPECTER AMENDMENT
IN FARM BILL
Bill Passes by an Overwhelming Majority of 79 to 14; Coalition of
Consumer, Farmer, and Animal Welfare Groups Praise the Senate's Action
Washington, DC December 14, 2007 - A broad coalition of consumer,
farmer, and animal welfare organizations today applauded passage of a
provision in the Senate's Farm Bill (H.R. 2419) that would delay the
Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) endorsement of the use of food from
cloned animals. This amendment, advanced by Senator Barbara A. Mikulski
(D-Md.) and co-sponsored by Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), calls for a
rigorous and careful review of the human health and economic impacts of
bringing cloned food into America's food supply. The senate
overwhelmingly passed the bill this afternoon by a vote of 79 to 14.
"The passage of this bill with the Mikulski-Specter amendment is like a
gift for the holidays," said Joseph Mendelson, Legal Director of the
Center for Food Safety. "The FDA's flawed and cavalier approach to
cloned food and its potential impacts called for a truly rigorous
scientific assessment. At a time when the FDA has repeatedly failed the
public, this amendment will ensure that the American consumer is
considered before any special interest."
The amendment requires that two rigorous studies be performed before the
FDA is able to issue a final decision on food from clones. The
amendment directs the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to convene a
blue-ribbon panel of leading scientists to review the FDA's initial
decision that food from cloned animals is safe. The amendment further
requires the NAS to study the potential health impacts of cloned foods
entering the nation's food supply, including the possible effects of
lessened milk consumption (due to consumer avoidance of cloned food)
leading to development of chronic diseases as a result. The bill also
directs the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to examine
consumer acceptance of cloned foods and the likely impacts they could
have on domestic and international markets.
"The FDA risk assessment ignored the fact that most clones never make it
to adulthood because they die in gestation or shortly after birth, and
also failed to consider whether clones might need more drug treatments,"
said Dr. Michael Hansen, Senior Scientist, Consumers Union. "We agree
with the Senate that the NAS should take another look at the safety
During a public comment period that ended earlier this year, the FDA
heard from more than 150,000 consumers rejecting the Agency's proposed
plan to introduce clones into the U.S. food supply. In addition, dozens
of members of the meat and dairy industries and nonprofit organizations
urged the FDA to consider comments from the widest possible sample of
Americans in consideration of the untested nature of cloning technology.
"Animal protection advocates support scientific advancement, but cloning
lacks any legitimate social value and decreases animal welfare in a
dramatic way," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane
Society of the United States. "Today, the U.S. Senate slowed down the
application of this bad idea, and we hope the House follows its lead."
"Polls have repeatedly shown that consumers are wary of food from cloned
animals," said Chris Waldrop, Director of the Food Policy Institute at
the Consumer Federation of America. "We need a much more comprehensive
assessment of the potential implications of allowing food from cloned
animals into the food supply. The Mikulski-Specter amendment would
assure that these important issues are thoroughly reviewed before FDA is
allowed to issue its final risk assessment."
Passage of this bill with the Mikulski-Specter amendment comes at a time
when the public's opposition to food from clones has never been higher.
A national survey conducted this year by Consumers Union found that 89
percent of Americans want to see cloned foods labeled, while 69 percent
said that they have concerns about cloned meat and dairy products in the
food supply. A recent Gallup Poll reported that more than 60 percent of
Americans believe that it is immoral to clone animals, while the Pew
Initiative on Food and Biotechnology found that a similar percentage say
that, despite FDA approval, they won't buy milk from cloned animals.
"The surveys show that the public is morally opposed to cloning.
Animals suffer terribly in the cloning process, and the FDA has ignored
these issues," said Tracie Letterman, Executive Director of the American
Anti-Vivisection Society. "This amendment will allow these discussions
to take place."
"With the public increasingly concerned about the treatment of farm
animals," said Julie Janovsky, Campaign Director for Farm Sanctuary,
"the Mikulski- Specter amendment acknowledges the fact that cloning may
lead to even harsher conditions for animals used to produce food."
In its risk assessment of cloned food, the FDA claims to have evaluated
extensive peer reviewed safety studies to support its conclusion, yet a
recent report issued by the Center for Food Safety, Not Ready for Prime
Time, shows the assessment only references three peer-reviewed food
safety studies, all of which focus on the narrow issue of milk from
cloned cows. What is even more disturbing is that these studies were
partially funded by the same biotech firms that produce clones for
profit. None of the studies focus on the safety of meat from cloned
cows or pigs, or milk or meat from the offspring of cloned animals, and
there was absolutely no data on milk or meat from cloned goats - all
major issues critical to determining the safety of the proposal.
View the executive summary of the Center for Food Safety's report, Not
Ready for Prime Time
View the full report
View the Mikulski - Specter Farm Bill amendment
Contact: Joe Mendelson, Center for Food Safety, 703-244-1724; John
Bianchi, Goodman Media, 212-576-2700
Chris Waldrop, Consumer Federation of America, 202-797-8551; Julie
Janovsky, Farm Sanctuary, 301 654 2903
Michael Greger, M.D., The Humane Society of the United States,
202-676-2361; Michael Hansen, PhD, Consumers Union, 917-774-3801.
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