The European Commission wants to ban the use of the cloning technique for farm animals in the EU, including bovine, porcine, ovine, caprine and equine species. It also wants to restrict the sale and imports of animal clones and their embryo clones as well as ban the sale of food, such as meat and milk, produced from cloned animals. Under the proposal, presented on 18 December after an over two-year delay, cloning is supposed to be allowed in Europe only for purposes such as research, conservation of rare breeds and endangered species or "justified" use of animals for the production of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. "Today's initiatives on animal cloning respond to animal welfare concerns as well as consumer perceptions on food from animal clones in a realistic and workable way," Health Commissioner Tonio Borg told a press conference. It is the second attempt by the Commission to regulate this sector, after the collapse of the latest negotiations in 2011.

But the proposals, consisting of two draft directives (ban on the use of cloning technique and sale of cloned animals; and ban on food made of the offspring of cloned animals), fall short of answering the question of labelling of products made of the offspring and descendants of cloned animals (second and further generations) - a controversial issue that led to the collapse of the the three-way negotiations on the novel food proposal, including cloning, back in March 2011. The Commission did not rule out, however, that a separate proposal concerning labelling for fresh bovine meat can be put forward after a special study answers all practical and cost-related questions. This idea has already been discussed by the College of Commissioners during an orientation debate held at the beginning of December, Borg explained. According to sources, the reactions were rather positive, with most commissioners underlining the need to enable consumers to make an informed choice as to whether or not they want to consume such products even if there were no safety risks.

The package also includes a third - separate - proposal for a regulation on novel foods - ie newly developed, innovative food or food produced using new technologies and production processes as well as food traditionally eaten outside the EU. To avoid a situation similar to that in 2011 when the novel food part of the proposal was taken hostage by the controversial cloning dossier, the Commission decided to separate the two issues. The...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT