With no label required for foods from cloned animals or their offspring, the USDA seal marking organic products will help concerned consumers find clone-free milk and meat.
Boulder, Colo. – (January 17, 2008) – Consumers concerned about meat and milk products produced from cloned cows have the option to choose organic products, as cloned animals are not permitted in certified organic foods.
The Food and Drug Administration on January 15 announced that it declared cloned meat and milk safe for human consumption, opening the door for wider and faster commercial adoption. Additionally, FDA ruled that food labels are not required to reveal whether the product contains cloned cows, pigs or goats, or the clones’ offspring.
However, according to Dr. Chuck Benbrook, Ph.D., Chief Scientist of The Organic Center, an independent science research organization based in Boulder, CO, there are profound scientific, regulatory, food safety, trade, and cultural issues wrapped up in the FDA's decision—including animal welfare issues, as many attempts at livestock cloning still end in fatal birth defects and animals that are often unhealthy.
For more information on the concerns surrounding the commercial use of cloned animals in food production, The Organic Center has available for free download on its website a report published in April 2007 entitled "Is the FDA's Cloning Proposal Ready for Prime Time? <http://www.organic-center.org/science.safety.php?action=view&report_id=90> ". The report, authored by James Riddle of the University of Minnesota, discusses why epigenetic changes in cloned animals are important in terms of animal health and food safety, and exposes the total lack of a scientific basis for the FDA's standard for judging that a cloned animal is safe to eat - "substantial equivalence" (i.e. the animal "looks" normal).
About The Organic Center
The Organic Center, based in Boulder, CO, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2002 to generate credible, peer-reviewed scientific information and communicate the verifiable health and environmental benefits of organic farming and products to society. By doing so, it promotes the conversion of more farmland to organic methods, improves public health and works to restore our natural world by promoting greater awareness of the benefits of organic products and production.
All of the Center’s research reports and publications are available free of charge on our website, www.organic-center.org . Individuals can also sign up for our free monthly e-newsletter, The Scoop.
For information about The Organic Center, its current programs and scientific reports please visit www.organic-center.org or call 303.499.1840.