The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will today announce guidelines for the development of genetically modified animals, a step on the road to their broad commercialization. The agency is expected to ask companies developing genetically modified animals to report a range of information about how they were engineered and how the alterations could affect the animals’ behavior, health, and nutritional value. Companies will also be asked to provide minimal safety information such as how they intend to keep track of the animals and how the beasts will be kept separate from non-modified animals. But the measures are less than comforting to consumer and environmental advocates concerned about GM animals’ potential negative impacts. For example, the guidelines don’t require companies to label GM animals as such once they hit the shelves, so consumers may not know what they’re buying. Also, even if the FDA determines a GM animal could cause environmental harm, it can’t actually reject the application based solely on environmental grounds. And, oh yeah, all the information the agency receives from the companies will be treated as proprietary and won’t be disclosed to the public. (Mmm, tastes like democracy!)