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European Commission tables ban on farm animal cloning

European Commission tables ban on farm animal cloning
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The European Commission is proposing a ban on the cloning of farm animals in the EU and on the import of such clones.

It is also putting forward measures to prevent food from animal clones from being marketed.

But cloning for research, conserving rare breeds and endangered species, or for producing medical drugs, will not be prohibited.

EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg said the draft laws were a realistic response to animal welfare concerns and consumer perceptions on food from animal clones.

Several scientific studies have found no cause for alarm over food safety in the case of meat and milk of clones and their offspring compared with those of conventionally bred animals.

However, cloning for food production is currently considered too expensive to be financially viable. Under European Union regulations, the marketing of food from clones would require prior approval, and so far no authorisation request has been put forward.

Several countries outside Europe practise cloning – the United States and Canada, Brazil and Argentina, as well as Australia and Japan.

Other EU institutions, including the European Parliament and the European Council will consider the Commission’s draft legislation in due course.