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Risk assessment of meat and milk from cloned animals

Abstract

Research on, and commercialization of, cloned cattle has been conducted for more than 20 years. Early techniques relied on the physical splitting of embryos or using embryo cells for nuclear transfer to generate cloned animals. Milk and meat from these animals entered into the human food market with no evidence of problems. With the advent of nuclear transfer, which enables the direct transference and preservation of high-value meat- and milk-producing genotypes to offspring, concerns have been raised about whether the products from somatic cell nuclear transfer–produced animals are safe for human consumption. Studies on the biochemical properties of food products from cloned and noncloned animals have thus far not detected any differences. All data to date indicate no significant differences in the measured parameters between animals created by nuclear transfer and normally bred animals. Public acceptance of cloned animal products depends upon forthcoming US Food and Drug Administration approval along with convincing safety data.

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Figure 1: Cloned cattle versus controls: blood and meat composition.

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Correspondence to Xiangzhong Yang.

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Competing interests

R.P. and J.X. are employees of δCyagra and Evergen Biotechnologies, respectively. (R.P. is no longer at Cyagra.) X.Y. is the scientific founder of Evergen.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Table 1

Details of animals used for meat composition analysis.

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Yang, X., Tian, X., Kubota, C. et al. Risk assessment of meat and milk from cloned animals. Nat Biotechnol 25, 77–83 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1038/nbt1276

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