Consumer Acceptance of Cloned Meat, Milk Gaining Ground

Survey shows two-thirds of consumers surveyed would buy or consider buying food products from cloned offspring if the FDA declared it safe. Compiled by staff

Published on: Nov 7, 2005

About one-third of U.S. consumers surveyed recently said they would definitely buy food from cloned offspring if the Food and Drug Administration declared the process safe. Another third would consider buying cloned products, according to a public opinion poll.

The research was funded by Viagen Inc., a Texas-based company working with cloned cattle, pigs and horses. The telephone survey of 1,000 individuals was conducted on October 21 to 23. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1%, according to Reuters.

Jennifer Sosin, president of KRC Research, the firm hired by Viagen to conduct the survey, thought prior to starting the study that the word "cloning" would put a negative connotation in the minds' of consumers. She explains for animal cloning to be fully accepted, consumers need to continue to trust the regulatory system in place here in the United States and understand why the technology is used. Biotechnology is usually initially opposed by the public until more education is provided.

"The KRC survey found 45% of consumers said they knew 'nothing at all' about animal biotechnology, while 26% said they knew "a little" and 21% knew 'some,'" reports Reuters.

Advocates for cloning say the process provides for replication of the high quality characteristics preferred in food products.

The FDA has not given a final ruling on the safety of food from cloned animals and their offspring. According to Reuters, the agency is expected to lift its ban sometime in the next few months.