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News 305 views update:Mar 19, 2007

EC to rule on cloned meat

The European Commission has asked the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) look at the implications cloned meat for food safety, animal health and animal welfare.

The issue became more pressing in January after a British farmer revealed the birth of a calf born from a cloned father and surrogate mother. There are no rules covering whether its milk should undergo extra tests before being sold. Last year the US approved meat and milk from cloned animals for consumption .
An advisory group on ethics would also be asked to update its 1997 ruling which found that there were potential benefits for agriculture from the process, though warned against reducing the gene pool too far. A Commission spokesman said no company had yet applied to clone animals commercially or to import cloned meat into the EU. He said the EU's 27 member countries would be asked for their opinion but might not have a formal role in decision-making.
While EFSA has consistently approved genetically-modified crops, a majority of governments have combined to block the Commission's attempts to put them on the market. They argue that the public is not prepared to eat them.
 
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