Food Law News - EU - 2008

Midday Express, 17 January 2008

CLONING - Commission receives scientific and ethics opinions regarding food from cloned animals

The Commission has now received the draft opinion of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on the implications of animal cloning on food safety, animal health, animal welfare and the environment as well as the opinion of the European Group of Ethics (EGE) on ethical aspects of animal cloning for food supply. EFSA's opinion has been made available for public consultation. EFSA will finalise its opinion after the consultation is completed later this year. The Commission cannot comment on the Opinion until it has received the final version.

The EGE adopted yesterday also an opinion on the ethical aspects of cloning for food supply. This is publicly available on EGE's website. EGE makes several recommendations concerning the production of food from clones and their offspring. The Commission will examine in detail the Opinions of these two independent bodies. Upon completion of this examination, the Commission will launch a wide consultation to obtain stakeholders' feedback.

It must be made clear that the two opinions relate to the risk assessment of the relevant aspects deriving from the cloning of animals for food production. The Commission has not made any risk management decision on this matter. This will be done upon completion of the consultation to be launched by the Commission as described above. The Commission has also begun work on a Eurobarometer study to learn about consumers' attitudes and demand for information on cloning. The results of this survey should be available in the second half of 2008.

A comprehensive discussion on animal cloning is indispensable with regard to deciding on the EU's future approach to the production and use of cloned animals in the food chain. The Commission intends to lead this discussion and obtain the widest feedback possible before deciding on the necessity to propose any actions.

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