Last updated on 7 December 2010

Meat and milk from cloned animals

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The FSA Board met today and discussed animal cloning for food production, including recent developments on this issue, following the Board’s initial discussion in September.

The Board agreed to advise ministers that:

  • the marketing of products obtained from cloned animals should be subject to authorisation as novel foods
  • based on the current evidence, there are no food safety grounds for regulating foods from the descendants of cloned cattle and pigs
  • the FSA is minded to adopt the position taken by the European Commission and others, that food obtained from the descendants of clones of cattle and pigs does not require authorisation under the novel foods regulation
  • the Board will seek the views of interested parties in relation to this change of position, and will return to this matter in the future if new information makes this necessary

In respect of other consumer interests, the Board:

  • agreed that, 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
  • will ask Defra, and its devolved equivalents, to consider what information about the ethics and welfare of animal cloning should be provided to the public

The Board also noted the ACNFP's (Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes) view that it would be helpful to have further evidence on how the rearing of clones and their descendants in different environments may affect the meat and milk. The Board asked the ACNFP to provide updated advice if new data became available.

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