Just Because We Can
Cloning Animals for Food
The FDA has approved the sale of food products from cloned animals and their offspring, saying that it will not require labels. However, the American public does not support animal cloning, and the technology is riddled with problems that cause animal suffering. Our government must act to address the public’s concerns and keep these products off of grocery store shelves.
Cloning causes severe animal suffering.
- Despite years of research, over 95% of cloning attempts fail, even with extensive veterinary intervention.
- Birth defects, physiological impairments, illness, and premature death continue to be the norm, not the exception, with cloning.
- Seemingly healthy clones have unexpectedly developed problems.
Problems occur with cloning far more often than with any other method of reproduction.
- Large Offspring Syndrome, a typically fatal condition associated with a host of abnormalities, occurs in over 50% of cow clones, but in fewer than 6% of conventionally bred animals.
- Hydrops, another typically fatal condition in which the animal swells with fluid, occurs in 28% of cow clones, but very rarely otherwise.
- A high rate of late-term pregnancy loss, pregnancy complications, painful labor, and surgical intervention is unique to clone pregnancies.
Consumers are opposed to animal cloning.
- 67% of Americans disapprove of cloning animals for food.
- Disapproval increases to 88% when respondents learn that animal suffering is involved.
- The majority of Americans think it is morally wrong to clone animals, and 63% would not buy cloned food even if it were labeled as “safe.”
- Numerous dairies, organic foods producers, and retailers have declared that they do not want to use products from cloned animals or their offspring.
- The dairy industry has said that there is no consumer benefit in cloning.
The public is worried about the moral and ethical implications of animal cloning
- Cloning affects animal welfare and promotes intensive farming practices and the commodification of animals.
- Many feel that cloning is “not natural,” or is “playing God.”
- Animal cloning technology can be used to clone humans or produce transgenic animals.
Americans want their government to consider their ethical concerns about cloning.
- Nearly 90% of adults think the government needs to ensure that the ethical issues related to animal cloning are publicly discussed before allowing cloned animals to be sold as food.
- Governments around the world are debating the ethics of cloning animals for food.
- The expert European Group on Ethics concluded that there is no ethical justification to clone animals.