The Food and Drug Administration is expected to declare as early as next week that meat and milk from cloned animals and their offspring are safe to eat. The declaration would be a milestone for
a cadre of biotech companies that want to make a business out of producing copies of prize dairy cows and other farm animals.
Consumer wariness toward cloned food, however, may lead
to a backlash from opponents in Congress and other markets, such as the European Union. The food industry itself appears to be divided over the issue. Some big food companies say they're not
interested in trying to market products from cloned animals or their offspring. "Most consumers do not find this appealing," says Marguerite Copel, vice president of corporate communications at Dean
Foods, one of the nation's largest milk producers. It says it won't sell milk from cloned cows.
The Food Marketing Institute, which represents food retailers and wholesalers, says its members tend to "strongly believe" that they must be notified if any of their suppliers intend to introduce cloned animals into the food supply.