CA bill: Require labeling on cloned food

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January 24, 2008

IN WAKE OF FDA CLONING DECISION, CALIFORNIA BILL COULD RESTORE AMERICANS’ RIGHT TO CHOOSE IN THE MARKETPLACE
Bill Would Require Labels on All Foods from Cloned Animals and Their Offspring

San Francisco, CA. – Dissatisfied with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) controversial announcement that milk and meat from cloned animals are safe for sale to the public, today California State Senator Carol Migden introduced a bill requiring all food products from cloned animals and their offspring to display clear and prominent labeling. The Center for Food Safety (CFS) and Consumers Union (CU), co-sponsors of the bill, applaud Senator Migden for protecting the public’s right to know how their food is produced by drafting this important piece of food safety legislation.
“The federal agency charged with protecting our food supply has failed us,” said Rebecca Spector, West Coast Director of the Center for Food Safety. “Consumers have the right to know that the meat and milk they feed their children is safe. Since FDA refuses to wait for science to show what’s really happening with cloned animals, it is now up to individual states to protect consumers and their families. The Senator’s labeling bill will protect Californians through labeling, which restores consumer confidence and choice.”
Public opinion clearly and consistently calls for food labeling. Most recently, a 2007 national survey conducted by Consumers Union found that 89 percent of Americans want to see cloned foods labeled. Sixty-nine percent said that they have concerns about cloned meat and dairy products in the food supply.
“The FDA’s recent action disregards the will of the public who overwhelmingly want labels on foods from cloned animals,” said Elisa Odabashian, director of Consumers Union’s West Coast office. “Senator Migden’s labeling bill will be a critical step in providing consumers with the information they are demanding about these foods.”
Last year Senator Migden authored a similar bill (SB 63) that was passed by the entire California legislature before being vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger. “It is our hope that the legislature will stand behind this bill. Its passage is needed now more than ever since the FDA has cleared the way for food from cloned animals to enter the market unlabeled,” stated Elisa Odabashian. “We also hope that when this bill arrives on the Governor’s desk he will show his commitment to consumer choice and sign the bill.”
For more information on FDA’s flawed risk assessment, see CFS’s report “Not Ready for Prime Time,” http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/AnimalCloning_PR3_21_07.cfm
For information on federal bills:
The U.S. Senate “Cloned Food Labeling Act,” S.414, is available at: http://www.congress.org/congressorg/bill.xc?billnum=S.414&congress=110
The Center for Food Safety (http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org) is a national, non-profit, membership organization that works to protect human health and the environment by curbing the use of harmful food production technologies and by promoting organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture.
Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, is an expert, independent, nonprofit organization, whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers.
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Contact:
Rebecca Spector, Center for Food Safety, (415) 826-2770 x301
Elisa Odabashian, Consumers Union, (415) 431-6747
John Bianchi, Goodman Media, (212) 576-2700