The announcement comes after an unnamed dairy farmer told the International Herald Tribune that he was using milk from a cow bred from a clone as part of his daily production.
FSA said that this would need to be considered for ‘novel food’ approval before it can be sold in the market. Novel food legislation covers food that has not been consumed to any significant degree in the EU before May 1997.
No novel foods applications or approvals of products from cloned animals have been made, said FSA. FSA also stressed that the available science does not highlight any food safety concerns surrounding consumption of products from healthy clones or their offspring.
Regulation: Foods from cloned animals are covered by Regulation (EC) 258/97 on novel foods, because the foods are derived from animals that are obtained by non-traditional breeding techniques.
Health and welfare concerns, especially related to illness and premature death among the offspring of clones, and ethical unease from the general public have so far kept food from cloned farm animals away from EU supermarket shelves.
Safety: In 2008, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued an opinion stating that: “No clear evidence has emerged to suggest any differences between food products from clones or their offspring, in terms of food safety, compared to products from conventionally bred animals. But we must acknowledge that the evidence base, while growing and showing consistent findings, is still small.”
In June this year, EFSA called for new data on the health and welfare on cloned farm animals as it prepares to provide the European Commission with an update of scientific developments related to cloning animals for food production purposes.
US approval: Across the Atlantic, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January 2008 issued a scientific conclusion that meat and milk from cloned cows, pigs and goats and their offspring are safe.
Aporte: Jecsi Esparza