The British Food Standards Agency has declared meat and milk from cloned animals and their offspring safe to eat, after the FSA's Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes concluded that “the evidence showed no differences in composition between the meat and milk of conventional animals, clones or their progeny and is therefore unlikely to present any food safety risk.”
During the open meeting of the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP), the committee was asked if they could assess meat and milk from cloned animals according to the Novel Foods Regulations, based on the available evidence on clones and their offspring.
highlighted several aspects: first of all, they said that there was no difference between the composition of meat and milk from conventional animals, cloned animals or their offspring, so a food safety risk is unlikely.
On the other hand, “current evidence of the composition of meat and milk is relatively limited, and further evidence is required on how the rearing of animals in different environments may affect the meat and milk.”
Currently, scientists know that it is unlikely to have “any potential differences between conventional cattle and the progeny of a clone, from the second generation onwards”, still, the committee believes that consumers should benefit from effective labeling of products coming from cloned animals or their progeny.
“In considering this hypothetical application, the ACNFP has confirmed that meat and milk from cloned cattle and their offspring shows no substantial difference to conventionally produced meat and milk and therefore is unlikely to present a food safety risk,” said Andrew Wadge, Food Standards Agency Chief Scientist.
“The FSA Board will discuss this issue at its December meeting.
“The Board will consider the opinion of the ACNFP, the recent European Commission proposal to ban meat and milk from clones, and any other developments, before providing further advice to ministers,” he added.
The thing is that this statement is the complete opposite of the European Commission's (EC) position on food products from cloned animals – that they should be all banned.
Wadge, added though that the EC's position will be taken into account before the any official advise is given to the UK government.
The US Food and Drug Administration, declared in 2007 that meat and milk from cloned animals was safe, so farmers in the US, South America and Asia are free to breed from cloned animals.
Things are a bit different in the UK, however, where the sale of cloned meat needs a special authorization, NewScientist