Published on: February 11, 2008The Dallas Morning News reports that “with meat and milk from cloned animals expected to be allowed into the U.S. food supply in a matter of months, and their offspring already permitted, consumers have two choices. They can ignore the controversy and chow down with abandon, or they can quiz each of their grocery stores, restaurants and dinner hosts about their policy on using food developed with cloning. That's because, unless Congress intervenes, regulators have decided that the products require no special labeling.”
That doesn’t mean that so-called “cloned food” is going to slip into the food supply without anyone knowing about it. “Wary of consumer backlash, some large grocers and restaurant operators say they plan to shun such products – whether from clones or their offspring – and will make sure their suppliers help them keep that vow,” the Morning News writes. Among them: Kroger.
"We've already communicated this to our suppliers," Gary Huddleston, a spokesman for Kroger, tells the paper. "The supplier that wants to do business with Kroger is going to comply."
And, the Morning News writes: “Two Dallas-based companies, restaurant operator Brinker International and Dean Foods, the nation's largest dairy producer, are among those that have established a ‘no clones’ policy for meat and milk from the cloned animals and their offspring. So have national grocers like Kroger and Whole Foods Markets, based in Austin.
“Wal-Mart, the nation's largest retailer, and Tyson Foods, the biggest beef processor, both based in Arkansas, said they have no plans to buy products from cloned livestock. But when asked about the offspring of clones, Tyson said it does not have a specific position, and Wal-Mart declined to respond to questions.”
- KC's View:
- Could be wrong about this, but I think that specificity and the willingness to answer questions will be the price of entry for companies in the food business. And I continue to believe that some sort of labeling – if not mandated – ought to be allowed by the government.
The more I hear pro-cloning advocates talk, the more they sound utterly condescending if their references to people expressing concerns about cloned food. It is as if they are the keepers of all knowledge and everyone else is a Luddite.
Which simply isn’t true. I actually am not against cloning in principle…but I think it is a new technology and that some sort of intelligent, transparent labeling makes sense so that consumers can make informed decision. If this puts the onus on manufacturers to persuade consumers that their products are safe, so be it.