January 15/Washington/UPI -- The Humane Society of the U.S. criticized the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for allowing the sale of meat and milk from cloned animals.

The FDA announced Tuesday it has found meat and milk from clones of cattle, swine and goats -- and the offspring of clones from any species traditionally consumed as food -- are as safe to eat as food from conventionally bred animals.

"Despite the fact that cloned animals suffer high mortality rates and those who survive are often plagued with birth defects and diseases, the FDA did not give adequate consideration to the welfare of these animals or their surrogate mothers in its deliberations," society President Wayne Pacelle said. "Furthermore, no regulations exist in the U.S. that protect farm animals during cloning research."

The organization's director of public health and animal agriculture, Dr. Michael Greger, added, "The Humane Society of the United States supports scientific advancement, but cloning lacks any legitimate social value and decreases animal welfare. The FDA's reckless action is completely unwarranted and unacceptable."

From the January 21, 2008, Prepared Foods e-Flash