The Udder Side of the Story

  • by: |
  • 01/06/2007
The New York Times editorial page is certainly entitled to its opinion. But it shouldn't be entitled to excessive hyperbole. (Please note that by "excessive hyperbole," I don't exactly mean "lying" so much as "not telling the whole truth.")

Specifically I refer to their editorial today, "Safe as Milk?" which decries the FDA's assessment that food (especially milk) from cloned animals is safe to eat.

The Gray Lady thinks that's a bad idea. That's their priviledge. It's a contentious topic. What's not appropriate is when they twist the facts to make their point. I take particular umbrage at the Times' statement that the FDA decision was "hurried along in a way that is more sensitive to political and economic pressure than to the long-term welfare of animals, humans and the world they inhabit."

Not so. And I speak from personal, first-hand knowledge. The agency has been studying this issue in great detail for a very long period of time. In fact, many of the world's leading experts on this issue work at the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine. During my tenure at the FDA (which ended in 2004), this issue was already being deeply investigated and intensely debated. So, when the New York Times deigns to say that the agency's decision was "hurried along" without either due regulatory process or focus on science, I say, where's the beef?

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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