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MU Cloning Expert says that Recent FDA Report on the use of Cloned Animals in the Food Supply will be No Concern to Consumers

Jan. 15, 2008

Story Contact:  Christian Basi, (573) 882-4430,
Randall Prather, (573) 882-6414,

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Today, the Food and Drug Administration posted a summary of a final report that supports the use of cloned animals for food. According to the report, cloned animals and their offspring are safe to enter the U.S. food supply. A University of Missouri cloning expert says that this decision will probably mean very little to consumers.

“This means little to the consumer,” said Randy Prather, curators’ professor in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. “First, it costs a lot of money to create a cloned animal, so any producers who are creating them are doing so for breeding purposes, and these animals are not going directly to the slaughter house. It will be the offspring of the cloned animals, bred naturally, that will be in the food supply. Second, this is not much different from giving growth hormone to dairy cows or selective breeding. There is no way to determine how the products were produced because there is no measurable difference in the meat or milk.”

In 2006, Prather was part of a research team that created cloned pigs which produced Omega-3 fatty acids. Prather’s work was featured as one of the Top 100 Science Stories in 2006 by Discover Magazine. He has won numerous awards and honors for his research on cloned swine including the Outstanding Researcher Award from the American Society of Animal Science, and Missouri’s Excellence in Life Science Award.

Prather has been at MU since 1989 and has published more than 180 studies. Nine of those studies have been featured on the cover of the respective journal.