January 18/Obesity, Fitness & Wellness Week -- International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) president and CEO Connie Tipton issued the following statement after the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) released its draft report on animal cloning.

"Clearly the European community is where the U.S. was a full year ago with respect to assessing the safety and unintended health and economic effects of animal cloning. Today's draft scientific report is simply the first step for EFSA, and the report will be open for public comment before being finalized, a step our own Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took at the end of 2006. This careful examination process by the EU underscores the necessity for FDA to fully consider all aspects of this new technology in light of our global marketplace.

"Nothing is more important to milk processors than the trust people have in milk and milk products. That is why we urge the FDA to listen to the more than 30,000 comments the agency has received over the last year and take the time to respond to their comments and concerns before allowing milk from cloned cows into the food supply.

"IDFA continues to call for a more thorough and deliberative dialogue at all levels on animal cloning -- one that takes into account the unintended negative economic, trade and public health impacts of approving a niche technology too soon."

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