Commission Midday Express, 24 July 2008
The European Commission has received the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) opinion on cloning and has asked its services to assess it in depth within the context of the current EU legal framework, especially that pertaining to food safety and animal health and welfare. The very preliminary reaction to this report is that it gives rise to increased concerns on aspects of animal health and welfare. Due to the absence of data there are also some food safety open questions. The Commission notes that it asked EFSA to provide an opinion on food safety, animal health, animal welfare and environmental implications on the breeding and the use of animal clones and their offspring. It also asked the European Group on Ethics to deliver an opinion on the issue's ethical considerations. Moreover it has launched a Eurobarometer seeking the public's opinion on cloning techniques and on food deriving from cloned animals and/or their offspring. The findings of the Eurobarometer, covering all 27 EU Member States, are scheduled to be published in early autumn 2008. Following the conclusions of the EFSA and the EGE opinions and in light of the findings of the Eurobarometer, the Commission will conduct an extensive consultation with the different stakeholders, the Member States and the European Parliament and will also consider whether any other action may be necessary.