Organic Valley Calls on USDA to Clarify Position on Cloning

LAFARGE, Wis., Dec. 29 /PRNewswire–USNewswire/ — In response to the F.D.A.’s tentative approval of food from cloned animals, George Siemon, CEO of Organic Valley, the nation’s oldest and largest organic farmers cooperative, called on the USDA to clarify its position on the use of cloned animals.

Siemon assumed that cloning would not be allowed in the standard as it falls within the ban on GMOs, excluded methods and prohibited technologies. Explained Siemon, “Organic farmers work in harmony with nature, not to change it. Consumers can be assured that Organic Valley and its meat brand, Organic Prairie, will never allow the use of cloned animals on our farms and in our products.”

Siemon urged consumers to speak out against the pending approval during the 90-day public comment period of the F.D.A.’s risk assessment.

“Cloning is not just about producing food for consumers. It’s about greed and patents,” warned Siemon. “The real question with cloning is who is going to benefit — consumers? farmers? animals? Allowing animal cloning, like seeds, to be patented by profit-driven companies has too many unknown risks and is a detriment to farmers and the future of our food supply.”

Tedd Heilmann, General Manager, Organic Prairie, Organic Valley’s meat brand, said, “After the false promises of the green revolution, DDT, rBGH and other GMOs, we have every reason to believe that there will be unforeseen negative consequences of cloned animals. The F.D.A.’s risk assessment needs to adequately address the issues of the precautionary principle, to err on the side of caution, especially in issues related to human and environmental health.”

The Organic Valley and Organic Prairie : Farmers on a Mission

Independent and farmer-owned, Organic Valley Family of Farms is America’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and is one of the nation’s leading organic brands. Organized in 1988, it represents 922 farmers in 27 states and one Canadian province and realized a record $320 million in 2006 sales. Focused on its founding mission of keeping small and mid-sized farmers farming, Organic Valley produces over 200 organic foods, including organic milk, soy, cheese, butter, spreads, creams, eggs, produce and juice, which are sold in supermarkets, natural foods stores and food cooperatives nationwide. The same farmers who produce Organic Valley also produce a full range of organic meat under the Organic Prairie label ( ). For further information, call 1-888-444-MILK or visit .