UK: No labelling or regulation required for food from cloned animal offspring

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Novel foods, European union

There is no evidence to justify the regulation of food from the descendants of cloned animals on safety grounds, the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) will tell Government chiefs.

Following its board meeting this week, the food safety watchdog will also advise Ministers against any moves to introduce compulsory labelling for meat and milk from animal clones.

“For food safety purposes, mandatory labelling of meat and milk obtained from the descendants of cloned cattle and pigs would be unnecessary and disproportionate, providing no significant food safety benefit to consumers,”​ said the agency in statement.

Novel foods

The FSA clarified its stance on food from cloned animals with regard to the European Union laws on novel foods. Foods and food ingredients that not used to a significant degree in the EU before 15 May 1997 must be authorised under the bloc’s Novel Foods Regulation.

The UK body agreed that the marketing of products obtained from cloned animals should be subject to authorisation as novel foods. However it added that it was prepared to adopt the view held by the European Commission that food from the descendents of cloned pigs and cattle does not need authorisation under novel food regulations.

After falling in behind Europe on this, the board declined a motion to press the Commission for formal clarification on the status of food from clones and their descendants under current laws.

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs will also be asked to consider what information on cloned animal welfare and ethics should be made public.

The agency requested update advice from its Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes on how the rearing of clones and their descendants in different environments could affect the meat and milk if new evidence became available.

Related topics: Policy

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