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for a responsible, fair & sustainable food system

New Briefing on Cloning Farm Animals

Immediate release (31 Jan 2011)

Calls to Pete Riley 07903 341 065

Today GM Freeze published a briefing on issues surrounding the introduction of products from the offspring of cloned farm animals into the UK food chain. [1]

This new briefing looks at all aspects of cloning, including the current positions of the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA). Despite widespread and deep public concern about the ethics and safety of cloning, both organisations want to allow products such as meat and milk from clone offspring to enter the food chain without necessary regulatory safety approval and without labels.

The European Group on Ethics (EGE) in Science and New Technologies report in 2008 [2] concluded:

Considering the current level of suffering and health problems of surrogate dams and animal clones, the Group has doubts as to whether cloning for food is justified…At present, the EGE does not see convincing arguments to justify the production of food from clones and their offspring.

Pete Riley of GM freeze said:

Opinion surveys show the public have very deep reservations about allowing the cloning of farm animals. They are very concerned about its impact on the health and welfare of the clones and see no justification for allowing the technology to be allowed. These views are backed by the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies.

Given this, it is all the more extraordinary that DEFRA and the FSA appear to be so out of touch and want to both give the go ahead to this risky technology and deprive consumers of their right to boycott its products by not labelling them on supermarket shelves.

A major policy re-think is needed on this urgently, otherwise public faith in our food and farming regulators will be further damaged. Supermarkets need to ensure they listen to their customers and guarantee that they will not stock products from clones or their offspring which are neither wanted or needed.

ENDs

Notes

[1] See GM Freeze report here.

[2] The European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies to the European Commission, 2008. Ethical aspects of animal cloning for food supply – Opinion No 23. See http://ec.europa.eu/european_group_ethics/publications/docs/opinion23_en.pdf.