July 28, 2008


EU: cloning carries health, welfare risks


Cloning has adverse effects on animal health and may pose food safety problems, according to a final report by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).


The report, made by request from the European Commission last year, said cloned embryos and animal clones face added health risks as they suffer a higher mortality rate. Figures show that 40 percent of the cloned cattle and pigs would die within six months, compared to 10 percent in conventionally-bred animals.


Food safety concerns for cloned cattle and pigs are low, but because of a lack of sufficient evidence, EFSA did not declare cloned meat safe for consumption.


Currently in EU, cloning is only permissible for research purposes, and there is no commercial trade in cloned animals. 


The EFSA findings contrast with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) report released in January this year, which concluded that such products were safe.


Surveys show resistance in EU to biotechnology remains high, especially when it comes to food-which has led to years of trade friction with the US.

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