66 cloned cows processed for beef in Japan Kyodo News Service/Associated Press
TOKYO, April 23 (Kyodo) -- A total of 66 cloned cows have been processed for beef, and the milk from four others have been sold at markets, according to a survey by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries released Friday.
The animals were among 461 cows that were cloned from 1990 until March this year by technique in which the nuclei of fertilized eggs are transplanted into unfertilized eggs.
Of the total number of cows, 144 were shipped to markets, according to the survey that examined 57 livestock research stations nationwide.
Of the 144, 19 animals were raised at government research institutes, 64 at prefectural research institutes and 61 at private enterprises, according to the survey.
The ministry does not release the names of the companies to avoid damaging their reputations, although cloned cows are not believed to pose any safety problems.
They are raised at experimental stations across Japan to improve the productivity of the livestock industry.
The ministry maintains that because cows produced by the technology are biologically identical to those born naturally, restrictions on their shipment are not necessary.
The survey also found that 57 cows cloned from an adult cell, or the same cloning technique as used for "Dolly" the sheep, were produced in Japan by the end of March.
None of those cows, however, have been shipped, the ministry said.
Publication Date: April 23, 1999
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