Why Am I Hearing About Cloned Chinese Beef?

You may have recently heard about cloned Chinese beef in the news and have questions. You can find the answers to commonly asked questions about meat from cloned animals below.

Does cloned beef exist in China?

In China, cattle will be cloned to enter the Chinese meat supply. Chinese scientists have determined that cloning cattle could help increase the availability of protein in China because they don’t have enough meat for their growing population.

Am I eating cloned meat?

It is highly unlikely that you will encounter meat from cloned animals in the United States for several reasons. First, and perhaps most importantly, the United States does not import meat from China; so you will not find cloned Chinese beef in the U.S. meat supply. While there are some cloned cattle in the United States, these clones are primarily utilized to produce elite breeding stock or animals that have great genetic traits, not for animals that are raised for food. These high-quality breeding stock are very expensive, so it doesn’t make business or financial sense for those animals to be raised for food.

Beef cattle

Are cloned animals safe to eat?

Yes. After an extensive study of animal cloning and food safety, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concluded that meat and milk from clones of cattle, swine, and goats, or their offspring, are as safe to eat as food from conventionally bred animals. These conclusions can be found in the FDA’s Animal Cloning: A Risk Assessment and are based on FDA findings that “the composition of food products from cattle, swine and goat clones, or the offspring of any animal clones, is no different from that of conventionally bred animals.”

Does cloned meat have a label?

There is no mandatory label for meat from cloned animals – the FDA has found no science-based reason to require labels to distinguish between products from clones and products from conventionally raised animals. However since cloned animals in the U.S. are used primarily for breeding purposes, the likelihood of consuming cloned animal products is very low.

You can be confident in the safety of U.S. beef and that America’s beef community is committed to providing high quality beef products that you demand.

 

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