EU runs cloning consultation
The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the issue, which closes on 3 September. It is designed to enlighten Brussels officials so they can propose fresh legislation on the issue next year (2013).
The reforms would replace current controls based on the EU’s 1997 novel food regulation, which insists that food from cloned animals requires authorisation before being sold in the EU - food from cloned animal offspring, which is as safe as conventional food, can however be sold without special permission.
These laws have drawn criticism for being too weak and as a result, the Commission released a paper in 2010 suggesting the temporary suspension of cloning for all livestock as well as using existing clones for meat and dairy. It also called for databanks allowing the tracing of cloned semen and embryo imports, allowing farmers and the meat industry to keep tabs on offspring.
Now, Brussels is preparing to table permanent legislation, and the consultation will enable it to assess the impact of controls involving “pre-market approval, traceability and labelling of food from offspring and their descendants”, it said in a note to consultation participants. It added it would “take into account the social, environmental and economic impact including the impacts on farmers, industry, trade, etc.”
The consultation will not consider the use of clones for research, producing pharmaceuticals and conserving endangered species or breeds.
Have your say on the European Commission's website.