Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Update: California Senate Passes Label Requirement Bill For Cloned Food; FDA Still Accepting Comments

Give it up for California, a gorgeous, diverse, and progressive state--its leaders can't do too much in the way of preventing earthquakes and wildfires, true, but they can certainly stand up for consumers:

Sacramento -- If and when milk and meat from cloned livestock start showing up in your local grocery store, labels on the food would let you know if it came from a cloned animal or its progeny under a bill that moved forward in the state Legislature on Wednesday.

The bill by Sen. Carole Migden, D-San Francisco, was prompted by the Food and Drug Administration's recent preliminary conclusion that cloned cows, swine and goats are safe to eat.

Although the FDA will continue gathering public comment until May 3, the agency is expected to adopt the preliminary decision as final.

Migden said that regardless of whether one supports or opposes eating cloned animals, it is prudent public policy to at least let consumers know what's on their grocery store shelves.

"It's a consumers' right to know measure," she said.

The Senate Health Committee agreed with Migden, approving SB63 by a 6-4 vote with Democrats supporting the legislation and Republicans opposing it.

Harrumph. Grumble, grumble.

Did I even need to paste in that last bit--with Democrats supporting the legislation and Republicans opposing it--or have we finally reached a point where it's pretty much assumed that the Dems will usually side with America's citizens while the GOP can always be counted on to stand behind (or rather, bend over in front of) its corporations?

Here's hoping that the California bill makes it through to the lawbooks, and that we can get similar labeling laws in place at the federal level, where I'm told there are numerous left-leaning spine-transplant recipients knocking around these days.

If you haven't yet visited the FDA's website and told them how you feel about cloned food and the labeling thereof, what are you waiting for? The agency has extended its open-comments period until May 3. Submit your comments directly to the FDA; simply click the Docket Search link and enter the docket number 2003N-0573 to bring up the topic Draft Animal Cloning Risk Assessment; Proposed Risk Management Plan; Draft Guidance for Industry.

(H/T Shaker Charles Bowman, to whom I apologize for not getting this post up days ago.)

Also at Shakesville.

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