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Senator Migden Unveils Legislation Requiring Labeling PDF Print E-mail
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Last December the FDA approved a draft decision that meat and milk from cloned cattle, pigs and goats are ?as safe to eat as food from conventionally bred animals?. U.S. Food and Drug Administration could approve putting cloned meats and dairy products into the food chain as early as May.

Calling for protection of ?consumers? right to know?, State Senator Carole Migden today unveiled legislation which would require that milk and meat products from cloned animals that are intended for human consumption be clearly labeled.

The legislation, SB 63, was the focus of a State Capitol news conference today where Sen. Migden (D-San Francisco/Marin) posed the question ?Wouldn?t you want to know if you?re drinking milk from a cloned cow or feeding your children pork chops from a ?somatic cell nuclear transfer event??? Polls show that two-thirds of American consumers are ?uncomfortable? with the idea of cloning animals, and 43 percent believe food from cloned animals would be unsafe to eat.

Migden said:

California consumers want to know what they?re eating and what we?re feeding our children. People have the right to know if food is organic, if it contains pesticides or growth-promoting hormones, or if it?s from cloned or natural-bred animals. Consumers certainly don?t want to wrestle with moral issues like cloning while they?re doing the family grocery shopping.

Migden was joined by two national consumer groups, the Center for Food Safety and Consumers Union. Also participating were Marin County organic dairy owner Albert Straus of Straus Family Creamery and renowned Marin County cheese maker Sue Conley, owner of Cowgirl Creamery.

Eric Schlosser, bestselling author of Fast Food Nation, The Dark Side of the American Meal and Elliot Katz, DVM, founder of In Defense of Animals also spoke in support of SB 63.

Migden said SB 63 is necessary because the FDA is poised to approve adding cloned products into our food supply as early as this year. If the FDA confirms its decision after the public comment period ends in May, food products from cloned animals can be introduced into the food chain ? making our country the first to allow products form cloned animals to be sold for consumption.

In February, the Center for Food Safety released a critique of the FDA’s review of food from animal clones, demonstrating that the FDA’s safety claims are based on virtually no food-safety studies.

Rebecca Spector, West Coast Director of the Center for Food Safety said:

Animal clones should not be used for food until long-term studies show that this technology can be used safely and humanely. If these foods are then marketed, labeling should be required to ensure consumer choice for those who wish to avoid cloned food. Senator Migden?s bill will protect Californians if the FDA recklessly disregards the unknowns about cloned food.

The Straus Family Creamery called upon the FDA to reverse its approval of cloned meats and dairy:

If the FDA persists with this misguided policy, we strongly support the passage of SB 63, said Albert Straus. The FDA should not allow cloned-animal dairy products onto grocery-store shelves without adequate warning labels. In my opinion, our safety depends on knowing that our food is truly safe and sustainably produced.

After the news conference SB 63 was slated to receive its first legislative hearing this afternoon in Senate Health Committee.

You can view an executive summary of the Center for Food Safety?s report (pdf) on the FDA?s risk assessment at this link. To see the full report (pdf) visit this website.

Related blog posts:
FDA extends deadline for public comment on unlabeled cloned food
Food and Drug Administration ready to send in the clones
Bills would require cloned food to be labeled
?No? to milk from cloned cows says the largest milk company in U.S.
Support the Cloned Food Labeling Act in the House and Senate
Cloned food can?t be sold as organic
FDA OKs meat, milk from cloned animals

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Read more at: http://timethief.wordpress.com/2007/04/12/senator-migden-unveils-legislation-requiring-labeling/.
 
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