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Albertsons, PCC Natural Markets, Supervalu, and Harris Teeter aren't selling meat and dairy products from cloned animals - information that the grocers volunteered in response to a request from Friends of the Earth, the environmental group that added it continues to seek commitments from other retailers on the issue.
This spring the group submitted to supermarket chains over 8,000 signatures from consumers urging the retailers not to sell products made from cloned animals. Albertsons, PCC, Supervalu, and Harris Teeter answered in writing that they don't carry such items, and stressed their ongoing compliance with all federal, state, and local food safety laws.
PCC has had a policy against stocking items from cloned animals since February 2008. Albertsons noted that it would work to formulate a policy on food containing nanoparticles, which are present in the meat of cloned animals and which some studies indicate could have harmful effects on the animals. Harris Teeter wrote that it has "no plans" to offer food products from cloned animals.
"Grocers are recognizing that people do not want to eat food from cloned animals," noted Friends of the Earth's Gillian Madill. "Food safety authorities must also recognize this and enact labeling regulations that protect Americans' fundamental right to choose what they eat."
Friends of the Earth's appeal to grocers parallels the Center for Food Safety's work with food producers. That group said yesterday that it has received commitments from Kraft Foods, General Mills, and Gerber/Nestle, among others, that they won't use ingredients from clones or their offspring.
As well as eliciting voluntary pledges from grocers and producers, the organizations are requesting the Food and Drug Administration to pass regulations that would prevent cloned animals from entering the food supply.
In January the FDA said that after years of detail study, it had determined that food from healthy cloned animals was as safe as food from noncloned articles
Progressive Grocer columnist and Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert wrote in the May 2008 issue about the controversy surrounding the issue, including whether labeling of products from cloned animals should be mandatory.
Lempert noted that Safeway, Kroger, and Whole Foods had already publicly said they wouldn't sell food from cloned animals.
Washington-based Friends of the Earth is the U.S. division of the world's largest grass-roots environmental network, with member groups in 70 countries.