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FDA Flooded with 130,000 Letters from OCA & Public Interest Groups Opposing Cloned Animals in Food Chain

A coalition of consumer, environmental, and animal welfare organizations Thursday submitted to the Food and Drug Administration more than 130,000 comments from consumers opposing the agency's proposed plan to introduce food from cloned animals into the U.S. food supply.

The announcement comes hours before the public comment period expires that began in January in response to FDA's proposal to allow products from cloned animals into the food supply unlabeled.

The Center for Food Safety, Consumers Union, Food and Water Watch, The Humane Society of the United States, the American Anti-Vivisection Society, the Consumer Federation of America and the Organic Consumers Association joined together to send a strong, unified message to the FDA that the public opposes the introduction of cloned animals in food.

A December poll by the Pew Initiative found that nearly two-thirds of U.S. consumers were uncomfortable with animal cloning.

"Food from cloned animals has no place on our supermarket shelves or on our dinner tables," said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety. "FDA needs to heed consumer concerns and ban animal clones in food."

Another controversial aspect of FDA's plan is that labeling of any kind on meat or milk products from clones or their offspring would not be required. This would rob Americans of their right to choose what they eat and feed their families.

"More than 130,000 people have said 'No' to unlabeled food from clones," said Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers Association. "People are tired of the biotech industry meddling in the food system, tired of government rubber-stamping approvals, and tired of not having the right to choose what they eat and feed to their families."

Citing animal welfare concerns, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS) have also asked the FDA to block sales of products from cloned farm animals and their offspring.

"American consumers are increasingly concerned about the treatment of animals raised and slaughtered for food," said Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. "Considering the numerous studies that have shown that animals in cloning research can and do suffer, the FDA must disallow cloned animals and their progeny and surrogate mothers in food production industries."

The FDA is likely to make a decision on food from cloned animals by the end of the year.