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for a responsible, fair & sustainable food system

GM Freeze Condemns EU Farm Ministers on Meat from Cloned Animals

Immediate release (24 Jun 2009)

Calls to Eve Mitchell 01381 610 740 or to Pete Riley 0845 217 8992 or 07903 341 065

A decision by EU farm ministers to allow meat from cloned farm animals to enter the novel foods regulatory process has been described by GM Freeze as being “completely out of tune with consumer and expert opinion”.

The newly elected European Parliament will have to support this decision before it can become law. Previous Parliaments have made themselves clear on this issue: votes on 3 September 2008[1] and 25 March 2009 both overwhelmingly rejected clones in the food chain. [2]

The decision at the recent Council of Ministers in Luxemburg [3] opens the possibility of allowing applications to place products from cloned farm animals on the EU market under the Novel Food Regulations.

Previously both the European Food Safety Agency [4] and the European Ethics Committee [5] raised concerns about the health and welfare of cloned animals.

A recent survey of UK food retailers and manufacturers carried out by GM Freeze [6] revealed a wide range of policies – while some companies uphold complete bans, some are prepared to sell such products once approved by the regulatory system.

Over 80% of EU citizens believe we need to know more about the possible impacts of cloning before allowing the products into the market. [7]

Commenting Eve Mitchell of GM Freeze said:

Farm Ministers are jumping the gun on cloning. Ministers are completely out of tune with consumer and expert opinion, not to mention the explicit wishes of the Parliament, which reject these products coming onto the market because of animals health and welfare concerns.

Intensive animal production systems are already highly controversial in the EU on welfare, food safety and environmental grounds. Cloning animals increases pressure not only on animals, but on a system of farming increasingly seen as unsustainable.

It’s unbelievable that EU farm ministers support manipulation of animals that could make things even worse. If Ministers will not listen, supermarkets and food producers need to make sure that they abide by the wishes of consumers on this issue and have systems in place to prevent products from clones entering their supply chains.

ENDs

Calls to Eve Mitchell 01381 610 740 or to Pete Riley 0845 217 8992 or 07903 341 065.

Notes
[1] On 3 Sept 2008 the European Parliament voted 630 to 32 in favour of banning cloning of animals for food.

[2] On 25 March 25 2009 the European Parliament adopted measures banning the sale of food products from cloned animals and their off spring.

[3] See www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/1245691021.44

[4] See www.efsa.europa.eu/EFSA/efsa_locale-1178620753812_1178684449670.htm

[5] See http://ec.europa.eu/european_group_ethics/activities/docs/opinion23_en.pdf

[6] See press release here and GM Freeze report here.

[7] See http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/08/1478&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN