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In California, the Consumers Union has called on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign the state’s Senate Bill 63, which mandates that food and milk made from the offspring of cloned animals must be labeled as such. The consumer advocacy group cited a recent poll that it conducted, which revealed that almost nine out of ten people want such labels, and that almost seven out of ten people are concerned about eating food from cloned animals.

"Foods from cloned animals will likely be in supermarkets, unlabeled, before the end of this year," said Elisa Odabashian, Director of Consumers Union's West Coast office. "Americans want to know whether the food they buy and eat is coming from cloned animals because they are concerned about this untried and untested technology. The Governor should sign this legislation to require (companies) to label food derived from cloned animals so consumers can avoid them if they choose to and so that the government can track any future negative health impacts."

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said earlier this year that scientific evidence suggested that there was no real difference between traditional meat and milk and the kind that comes from the offspring of cloned animals, and that it was inclined to allow such products to reach store shelves without being labeled. However, it also said that it would allow the public to comment, and the Consumers Union maintains that the overwhelming public sentiment is in favor of mandated labeling.
KC's View:
This is where two of my usual priorities come into conflict. On the one hand, I believe in the science – and I would have no particular problem consuming so-called “cloned food.” On the other hand, I also believe in complete transparency, which would make me favor labeling of such products.

In this case, I think I’ll go with transparency … because in the end, telling people what a product is made of or where it comes from is not a rejection of the science. The Governator should sign the bill, and show the rest of the US that California leads the way when it comes to transparency issues. (Besides, hasn’t Schwarzenegger played a clone at some point in his career? I’m pretty sure he has…)

If Schwarzenegger and the FDA reject mandated labeling, then companies that do not use cloned animals ought to put big labels on their products saying, “NOT MADE FROM CLONED ANIMALS.” Of curse, the FDA will probably say that they shouldn't do this, but it’ll make for an interesting debate.