The top U.S. dairy company, Dean Foods, has adopted a policy statment banning milk from cloned cows, a copy obtained by Chews Wise shows.
This is a potentially significant step, since the Food and Drug Administration in December released its recommendation to allow food from cloned animals. The FDA has an open comment period on this issue that runs through April 2.
Dean Foods, with more than $10 billion in sales, is by far the largest dairy company in the nation. So even if the FDA allows cloning to go ahead, this policy may put the brakes on the development of clones, at least in the dairy industry.
The company also owns Horizon Organic, the top organic milk company. Other organic milk companies, such as Stonyfield Farms, Organic Valley, and Straus Family Creamery, have pledged not to take milk from any cloned cows. Non-profit organizations, such as the Center for Food Safety, have also been waging a campaign against cloning.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski, the Maryland Democrat, has introduced legislation to require labeling on packages of cloned foods: "This product is from a cloned animal or its progeny.''
Dean Foods "Position Statement: Milk From Cloned Cows" reads:
Based on the desire of our customers and consumers, Dean Foods will not accept milk from cows that have been cloned. If the FDA does approve the sale of milk from cloned cows, we will work with our dairy farmers to implement protocols to ensure that the milk they supply to Dean Foods does not come from cloned cows.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to conclude that milk from cloned cows is safe. Our decision not to accept this milk is based on meeting our consumers’ expectations. We see no consumer benefit from this technology.
Numerous surveys have shown that Americans are not interested in buying dairy products that contain milk from cloned cows and Dean Foods is responding to the needs of our consumers.