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European Parliament pushes for cloning ban

Eurogroup for Animals welcomes the overwhelming vote in favour of a ban for cloning animals for food production by the European Parliament. This clearly represents the views of Europe's citizens that they do not want Frankenstein foods on their plates, says Eurogroup for Animals.

It also puts immense pressure on the European Commission to come forward with clear legislation to enforce such a ban and ensure that no products from cloned animals or their offspring are put on the European market.

The European Parliament has maintained its objection to animal cloning since it first passed a resolution on the subject in 2008. This vote has solidified that position and the rapporteur for the Novel Foods Directive, Liotard Kartika Tamara MEP, during the discussions before the vote stated that if cloning will be allowed for food production, we would be agreeing to the fact that the animal welfare problems associated with it are not important. She also urged the Parliament to remain strong in its opposition.

“We are extremely pleased that the European Parliament has acted so responsibly on this issue. Cloning is inefficient, wastes animals’ lives and causes animal suffering and distress at all stages of the process and must be stopped," said Sonja Van Tichelen, Director of Eurogroup for Animals. “Farm animals are already seen by some as commodities rather than sentient beings and cloning compounds this view resulting in less concern for animal welfare and less willingness to address welfare issues,” she added.

Eurogroup is concerned that the routine use of cloning would greatly reduce genetic diversity within livestock populations, increasing the chances of whole herds being wiped out by disease to which they would all be equally susceptible. In addition the European Commission and the Member States currently provide subsidies to farmers who conserve traditional breeds of livestock through rural development funding. Promoting cloning of farm animals would go against this rural development objective of conserving genetic diversity in farm animals.

The development of animal cloning as a method of food production is being pursued without public awareness and in spite of well-documented public concerns relating to the use of biotechnology in food production (e.g. GM foods). This is unacceptable.

“Eurogroup for Animals believes that the EU should introduce an immediate ban on the cloning of animals for food production, and on the sale of imported food products from cloned animals and their offspring and calls on the European Commission to act immediately and robustly to reflect the concern of the European Parliament and indeed Europe’s citizens,” concluded Van Tichelen.

Source: Eurogroup for Animals

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