For Immediate Release
Contact: Holly Givens, 413-774-7511;
After hours number: 413-834-2258;
Organic Trade Association Calls on FDA to Base Animal Cloning Policy on Precautionary Principles
Greenfield, MA (Mon. Nov. 3, 2003) --- In response to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's preliminary announcement Friday that products from cloned animals are safe to eat, the Organic Trade Association, which represents the $11 billion organic industry in North America, called on FDA to base its cloning policy on long-term research. "As the body responsible for protecting the safety of American citizens, FDA is morally obliged to take a precautionary approach. Its knowledge must extend well beyond short-term findings if milk, meat and other foods from cloned animals are to enter the food system," said Katherine DiMatteo, OTA's executive director.
DiMatteo emphasized that the National Organic Program, which one year ago this month implemented the national organic labeling system, requires all of its standards for organic agriculture to demonstrate both short- and long-term findings before being incorporated into the rule.
Although FDA has a voluntary moratorium on the release of animal clones, DiMatteo urged concerned citizens, especially parents, to seek out organic foods as food options guaranteed to be not produced from cloned animals, or other forms of genetic engineering. DiMatteo explained, "Consumers need to understand that organic foods are not made with added pesticides, hormones or antibiotics. If it's from a cloned animal, the food is not organic."
Representing the $11 billion organic industry in North America, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) is a membership-based business association. Its mission is to encourage global sustainability through promoting and protecting the growth of diverse organic trade. OTA's approximately 1,200 members include growers, shippers, retailers, processors, certifiers, farmer associations, brokers, consultants and others. Learn more at the OTA website: www.ota.com or its consumer website: www.theorganicreport.org
November 3, 2003
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