Letter to PCC vendors and suppliers regarding products from cloned animals

January 18, 2012

To all valued PCC vendors and suppliers,

In January 2008 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled that food products from cloned animals and their offspring are safe for human consumption. PCC Natural Markets is deeply concerned about this ruling, particularly the decision not to require food manufacturers to label such products.

PCC disagrees with the FDA’s decision and believes it is wrong for several reasons:

  • The technology behind animal cloning remains highly controversial for good reasons. Attempts to clone livestock have been responsible for some heartbreaking physical aberrations and fatal birth defects. The long-term health of cloned animals has not been determined.
  • Widespread use of cloning technology eventually could result in less genetic diversity in livestock. The less biodiversity in our food supply, the more vulnerable it is to the devastating effects of disease.
  • 90 percent of consumers want genetically modified food labeled. Cloning involves somatic cell nuclear transfer, which means removing an egg’s own DNA, then replacing it with the DNA of a specific animal. Not labeling food products from cloned animals is contrary to what the market demands.
  • The National Academy of Sciences, advisor to the nation on scientific matters, has declared that no method exists to detect subtle health problems in clones. The lead scientist responsible for creating the first clone (Dolly the sheep) warns that even slight imbalances in a clone’s hormone, protein or fat level can compromise the safety of its meat or dairy production.
  • High doses of hormones and antibiotics used in cloning present another significant safety concern. The commercialization of cloning is likely to increase hormones and drugs in the human food supply, yet the FDA has failed to address this safety issue.
  • A majority of American consumers do not support animal cloning. According to a 2006 survey, 64 percent of consumers are “uncomfortable” with animal cloning; 46 percent are “very uncomfortable.”

PCC does not — and will not — sell any food products sourced from cloned animals or their offspring until these questions of concern are answered adequately. PCC believes that consumers have the right to know how their food is produced and where it comes from.

As an added assurance to our customers, PCC is requiring a signed agreement (PDF) from our suppliers verifying that no products sold to PCC contain ingredients from cloned animals or their offspring.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

Russ Ruby, Director of Merchandising
Scott Owen, Grocery Merchandiser
Elin Smith, Category Manager
Sven White, Meat Merchandiser
Wendy McLain, HABA Merchandiser
Leon Bloom, Deli Merchandiser
Joe Hardiman, Produce Merchandiser
Tracy Wolpert, CEO

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