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FDA Panel Casts Doubt on Cloned Food

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ROCKVILLE, Md., Nov 05, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- The Food and Drug Administration's scientific review panel has cast doubt on FDA preliminary findings that food from cloned animals is safe to consume.

The panel said there is not enough data to support that conclusion and asked for more studies, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

The FDA report last week included many cattle studies but relatively few on other livestock since most cloning operations concentrate on cattle. It indicated clones that survived the early months appeared to be as healthy as their conventional counterparts and that their meat and milk should be as safe.

But, consumer groups Tuesday accused the agency of rushing to judgment based on scant scientific data and skirting inquiry into important areas, including contamination of meat by pathogens.

Senior researcher Michael Hansen said the "frequency and incidence of disease, of bacterial infection, of contamination with mercury, of presence of allergy-causing substances, of pesticide residues" had not been taken into account.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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