Organic Valley co-op says ‘no clones’ – defends animals, consumers, farmers
February 15, 2008
Organic Valley, the nation’s oldest and largest cooperative of organic family farmers, strongly opposes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s ruling that food from cloned animals and their offspring is safe.
“Organic Valley farmers work in harmony with nature; we don’t seek to alter it,” said George Siemon, chief executive officer for Organic Valley. “Organic Valley and its meat brand, Organic Prairie, will never allow the use of cloned animals on our farms and in our products. And, we assume the USDA will never change its organic standards to allow for cloned animals.
“As concerned citizens, parents and food eaters, we’re alarmed at the FDA’s assessment. It places the nation’s food supply at risk, and threatens the existence of the family farmer,” Siemon continued. “It’s wrong for the FDA to suggest that cloned animals are safe to enter the food supply. This ruling has been made with haste and has not been made with the interests of the animals, consumers, or farmers in mind.
“Rather, the FDA has rushed to judgment with a decision aimed at supporting large corporations seeking to increase their profits in food manufacturing, raise their stock value and pad their wallets – all at the cost of everyday individuals.”
“The long term effects of cloned animals on public health and our planet are simply not known. Over a generation, how will this impact our ecological system? Allergies? Nutritional balance? Antibiotic resistance?” Siemon said.
“Furthermore, we already know that cloning adversely affects animal health in areas such as birth defects, abnormal growth, and lack of genetic diversity. We are dealing with complex biological systems that can react in even more unexpected ways. The FDA should instead follow a precautionary principle, to err on the side of caution, especially in issues related to human and environmental health, as well as animal husbandry, and prohibit cloned animals and all genetically modified organisms,” Siemon added.
“We encourage individuals to contact their U.S. Representative and Senators to have their opinions be heard as well.”