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Cloned Cheeseburgers Are Still Years Away

Despite the Food and Drug Administration's declaration that food from cloned animals or their offspring is safe to eat, it will take years for ranchers to produce and raise the animals. And many of the nation's biggest grocers say they are dead set against selling it.

"Our intention is not to accept cloned products from our suppliers," says Meghan Glynn, a spokeswoman for Kroger Co., the owner of Ralphs, Food4Less and several other chains. Safeway Inc., the owner of Safeway and Vons, says it favors continuing a voluntary ban on the use of cloned animals for food.

They probably won't know if they've received such products, however. In its decision, the FDA does not require products derived from clones to be labeled because agency scientists found no difference between them and meat and milk produced the conventional way. The concept of using cloning to produce food is counter to the marketplace trends in which consumers seek more information about food, and where natural and organic products are one of the fastest-growing segments, says Dennis Krause, a food and agribusiness analyst and senior vice president at GE Corporate Lending.

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