LA FARGE, Wis., Jan. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Organic Valley, the nation's oldest and largest cooperative of organic family farmers, strongly opposes today's 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 non-organic, conventional 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, 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." Organic Valley Family of Farms: Independent and Farmer-Owned Organic Valley is America's largest cooperative of organic farmers and is one of the nation's leading organic brands. Organized in 1988, it represents 1,201 farmers in 32 states and one Canadian province, and achieved $334 million in 2006 sales. Focused on its founding mission of saving family farms through organic farming, Organic Valley produces more than 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 for Organic Valley also produce a full range of delicious organic meat under the Organic Prairie Family of Farms label. For further information, call 1-888-444-MILK or visit http://www.organicvalley.coop, http://www.organicprairie.com and the cooperative's farmers' website, http://www.farmers.coop.
SOURCE Organic Valley