Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the ex-hippies and life-long friends who founded Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, are on a quest to “track” animals.
No, the very granola twosome has not taken up hunting. Rather, the duo — with the help of the company they founded — has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the government’s approval last year to allow meat and milk from cloned animals into the nation’s food supply.
The Food and Drug Administration says meat and milk from cloned animals is safe for consumption.
As part of the campaign, they’re calling for a system that will allow consumers to track animals cloned for food, the two said Wednesday during an interview on the FOX News Channel.
“There was a poll done: 77 percent (of people) don’t want it in their food supply,” Greenfield said, referring to a 2008 national poll conducted by the Food Marketing Institute. “Even if somebody does want it, everybody has the right to know what’s in their food.”
Ben & Jerry’s kicked off the campaign with an April Fool’s joke and the launch of a fictitious company called Cyclone Dairy, which purported to sell milk from “100 percent cloned cows.”
The fake company was launched via the Web site CycloneDairy.com and included street sampling initiatives in Manhattan. The intent was to gauge consumer reaction to the issue of cloned food.
Cohen said the Manhattan initiative included giving people on the street milk to try and then telling them the milk was from cloned cows. The milk, in fact, was from regular cows. But the white lie worked like a charm, Cohen said.
"They were freaked out," he said of the people's reaction to being told they were given "cloned milk."
"Isn't it really weird — the idea of having milk that comes from a test tube," Cohen continued. "They didn't like it."
For its part, the FDA maintains that there is no difference between meat and milk from cloned and non-cloned animals, and that consumers would not be able to discern between the two.
“It’s not about the government … it’s about the people of the United States and what they prefer, what they want in their food supply,” Greenfield said. “People don’t want cloned milk in their food. Who should be creating life?”