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Home > Focus > Cloned meat and milk enter the food chain

Cloned meat and milk enter the food chain

di Redazione FGB [1], 9 Agosto 2010

This week both the UK and foreign news channels and press have run stories [2] that raise some serious questions about the regulation of cloning and foodstuffs. It appears that milk produced by the offspring of a cloned cow is (or has been) on sale in UK shops, unmarked and mixed in with other milk. This claim was made by an as yet unnamed farmer, presumably the owner of the aforementioned cow.

Perhaps even more alarmingly the Food Standards Agency have announced that the meat from a bull, also offspring of a clone has definitely been butchered, illegally sold and eaten (probably in Scotland). In an interview for the BBC [3] the farmer in question Steve Innes says: "We acted in good faith" and claims to have done nothing wrong, stating that the cow was certified fit for human consumption.

The Food Standards Agency is responsible for the regulation of foodstuffs in the UK and states however that a license would be required before any food product of this type could be sold as it is considered a novel food, but that no application for any such license has been made. Rather worryingly it also acknowledges that it has no way of knowing how many cloned embryos have entered the UK as registration of their use is the responsibility of the farmer involved.

The US Food and Drink Administration ruled in 2008 [4] that food products from cloned animals are safe to eat, although a voluntary moratorium exists while discussions pend upon labeling etc, but this year MEPs ruled that within the EU this type of food must be excluded from novel foods legislation [5]until further testing can prove that it holds no health risk for human consumption.

This however has proven not to be the case, raising serious questions about the regulation of these types of consumables.

This is an issue that has been addressed several times on the foundation website. See Cristina Graseni's interview with Simmet Prize for Assisted Reproduction winners Giovanna Lazzari and Cesare Galli [6] (in Italian) in which many interesting issues are raised including the effects of previous EU legislation on cloning programs and questions regarding the ethical isues raised, future use of this research and a general broadening of the discussion.

(photo: The invasion of the cows (Diana) clones [7] by mkorchia from Flickr)

Mostra/Nascondi i link citati nell'articolo

Link citati nell'articolo:

  1. 1] /schedabiografica/Redazione FGB
  2. 2] http://www.foodnavigator.com/Financial-Industry/FSA-investigates-claims-of-cloned-milk-in-UK
  3. 3] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-10859866
  4. 4] http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2008-01-15-cloned-animals-qa_N.htm
  5. 5] http://www.foodqualitynews.com/Legislation/MEPs-vote-to-exclude-clone-produce-from-novel-foods
  6. 6] /it/grasseni/2008/10/la_ricerca_di_punta_biotecnolo.html
  7. 7] http://www.flickr.com/photos/mkorchia/2390093554/in/photostream/
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cc - photo by mkorchia from Flickr
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