Q & A Library

Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Is Meat from Cloned Animals Safe?
What's the story on cloned meat? I heard that it was safe and that we don't have to worry about it.
Answer (Published 8/19/2005)

First of all, no meat or dairy products from cloned animals are on the market in the United States, so you don't have to worry about it for the time being. You may have heard about a recent study that compared meat and milk from cloned cows to meat and milk from animals that were the products of normal reproduction. The study, published in the April 12, 2005 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found essentially no differences.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor for Your Whole Body - Foods, herbs and drugs can all interact, sometimes in unexpected ways. Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor takes known interactions into account when developing nutritional supplement recommendations, to help safeguard against adverse effects. Learn more, and get your free, personalized Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor recommendation today.

Cloning utilizes the DNA of a single parent and is meant to produce an animal that is identical to the parent. For this study, researchers from Japan and the University of Connecticut cloned a prized Japanese black breeding bull of a type known for superior meat. The comparison cattle were produced by inseminating cows with semen from the son of the Japanese bull. The dairy cow clones were from a Connecticut Holstein cow that produced a lot of milk.

The researchers looked at more than 100 components of beef and found that the only significant difference was that the meat from the clones had a slightly higher fat marbling content than the meat from the comparison cattle. After analyzing the protein, fat, lactose, and solids in the milk, they found no significant differences between the milk from the cloned cows vs. the controls.

The FDA will look at these findings when it reviews research on food from cloned animals; it is supposed to release its own evaluation of the safety of cloned food soon.

Proponents of cloning claim that it will result in better quality meat - more cattle will be produced from prize steers - and better milk production. But last year a report from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) concluded that current methods for testing the safety of cloned meat and milk aren't good enough to determine the potential health risks. The NAS report also said the testing methods couldn't determine what factors, such as DNA or the presence of certain amino acids, are relevant for predicting the impact on human health.

I think we are a long way from seeing cloned animal products in our supermarkets.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle on (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being in just eight weeks! Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe Wellness Guide
Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Food Pyramid

Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you and their corresponding answers from Dr. Weil.

Copyright © 2015 Weil Lifestyle
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here