The FDA's rush toward cloned livestock will bypass the organic food industry - at least according to the USDA's National Organic Program.
The folks over at the NOP issued a statement in the form of a Q&A today saying cloned animals were incompatible with organic food production. (This addressed some of the issues raised in a front page article in the Washington Post this week).
Q. Is cloning as a livestock production practice allowed under the NOP regulations?
A. No. Cloning as a production method is incompatible with the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) and is prohibited under the NOP regulations.
Q. May animals produced using cloning technology, or clones, be considered organic under the NOP regulations?
A. No. Animals produced using cloning technology are incompatible with OFPA and cannot be considered organic under the NOP regulations.
The last question though left open the possibility that offspring of organic animals might become organic.
Q. What about the progeny of animals produced using cloning technology, or clones – can they be organic under the NOP regulations in organic livestock production?
A. AMS intends to work with the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) to develop a rulemaking proposal to determine the organic status of the progeny of animals derived using cloning technology, or clones.
Why? Because right now some organic farms can bring in conventional animals and there is no tracking of the cloned livestock. It's a huge problem but won't be solved unless we call a clone what it is - A CLONE! - and label and track it so everyone knows.