More than seven years ago, scientists at Texas A&M University made headlines by cloning the first bull. Is it true that steaks from cloned cattle will now be sold in supermarkets? Officials at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are mooving in that direction. In late December 2006, after years of extensive study, they issued a preliminary report that concluded that meat and dairy products from cloned cows, goats, and pigs are as safe to eat as food from conventional animals. The FDA then initiated a ninety-day public-comment period on the decision, which would have ended in April. However, because the issue has generated so much controversy among consumer groups, the deadline was extended until May 3.
What’s all the fuss? In February, in the middle of the public-comment period, Dallas-
based Dean Foods announced that it would not accept milk from cloned cows regardless of the FDA’s final ruling. As the country’s largest producer and distributor of milk and other dairy products—it is responsible for brands ranging from Land O’Lakes to Hershey’s—Dean