Friday, October 31, 2008

Food Companies, Retailers Avoid Clones

In a gesture that organizers hope will end the cloned foods controversy, 20 American food companies and retailers have stated they will not use cloned animals in their products.

Nonprofit activist organizations the Center for Food Safety and Friends of the Earth announced September 3 that manufacturing behemoths Kraft Foods, General Mills, Nestlé and Campbell Soup Co. have pledged to avoid cloned animal ingredients.

Retailers that have agreed to the noncloning pledge include Albertsons, SuperValu and Harris Teeter. Washington-based PCC Natural Markets, the first retailer or manufacturer to sign the pledge, also won’t allow products from cloned offspring in its stores.

But despite these companies’ good intentions, “there is truly no way to be 100 percent sure” they’re not using ingredients from cloned animals or their offspring, said Gillian Madill, a genetic technologies campaigner with Friends of the Earth. Because the U.S. Food and Drug administration allows cloned-animal ingredients [...], it’s difficult for companies or retailers to follow an animal all the way through the supply chain, she said.

As a result, Madill said the goal of the FOE/CFS cloned food initiative is to “try to destroy the market before it exists. We don’t want to get into a situation like [genetically modified organisms], where they were out there before anyone could stop them becoming a full-scale process.”

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Copyright © 2008 The Natural Foods Merchandiser

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