WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The following statement is being issued by Gordon Doak, president of the National Association of Animal Breeders:



"We are disappointed that the Center for Food Safety (CFS) and other anti- agriculture activist groups in Washington, DC have filed a petition with FDA's Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition arguing for a moratorium on livestock cloning. Unfortunately, the petition reflects a basic lack of knowledge as to the nature and reasons for this breeding technique.



"The petition clearly ignores or misrepresents centuries of animal husbandry experience, as well as hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific studies in the U.S. and over 40 other countries. This over-reaction is one step from requesting a ban on routinely used assisted reproductive techniques as in vitro fertilization, embryo transfer and artificial insemination.



"Fundamentally, cloning is an assisted reproductive technique in which an identical twin of the existing animal is created. There is no genetic manipulation nor any genetic material added or removed during the process. It is simply the newest tool in the animal breeder's tool kit.



"The benefits of cloning, including reproducing the strongest and healthiest animals so as to provide consumers the best food products possible, are at risk when attention is paid to such uninformed opinion.



"When world food production is faced with significant challenges, including avian influenza, food-and-mouth disease and protein availability, it is unfortunate the Center for Food Safety and its allies would focus their opposition on technology with significant benefits for human and animal health and well being."

SOURCE: National Association of Animal Breeders via PR Newswire.