In January, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ruled that meat and milk from cloned animals are "as safe to eat as food from conventionally bred animals," and need not be labeled. Lawmakers in 13 states have introduced bills that disagree.
The bills' language is strong: "No person shall sell, offer or expose for sale, have in his possession for sale, or give away, for human consumption, any fresh or frozen meat, meat preparation, meat by-product, dairy food or dairy food product, or poultry or poultry product derived from a cloned animal or its offspring unless the product is clearly and conspicuously labeled as such," says the Kentucky bill. The bills are vociferously opposed by proponents of cloning technology, who fear that labels on cloned food will scare the public and no one will buy it.
The bills' introductions may be a sign of public opposition to food from cloned animals, but labels on food might be far from reality if past legislative reaction to genetically modified food is any indication. After the FDA approved genetically modified foods in 1992, 16 states introduced bills that called for its labeling. None passed.
Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXIX/number 4/p. 10