Conventional European meat eaters can continue their customary habits for a while longer; European Union talks over how to deal with food from cloned animals have broken down.
These animals can be bred traditionally to produce young with desirable traits like high milk production or rapid growth.
Although roughly six out of ten EU consumers are said to oppose cloning for food, the bloc’s health Commissioner says it is okay, but the legal vacuum continues.
Commissioner John Dalli said: “The present situation where there is no control at all on cloning techniques or clones will be again the rule in Europe. The science is telling us that there is no risk whatever on health from meat from clones, [so] I don’t think that consumer protection comes into it; consumer information does come into it.”
EU proposals on the sale of new types of foods have been on the drawing board for three years. The European Parliament was just about ready to accept mandatory labelling for all such products. It had been demanding a mandatory ban on food from the conventionally bred offspring of cloned animals. But the EU governments rejected the compromise.
The governments said it risked dragging the whole bloc into a trade war with countries such as the United States. Those countries already export food products derived from the offspring of cloned animals.