No food from animal clones
Brussels – New draft legislation from the European Commission proposes a ban in the bloc on marketing foods from cloned animals for the next five years. Health Commissioner John Dalli said that the new rules are not based on food safety worries but on animal welfare issues, and thus exclude food products derived from the offspring of animal clones. In practice, cloning in animal husbandry is not particularly effective, as it often results in miscarriages and birth defects. However, the Commission wants to allow animal cloning for other purposes, including for saving rare or endangered species from extinction, pharmaceuticals production or in performance animals such as racehorses. Researchers welcomed the fact that importing embryos and semen from cloned animals has not been banned. “Cloning is currently the only effective way to obtain large animal models for disease research and targeted genetic modification of animals,“ says Munich-based clone pioneer Prof. Dr. Eckhard Wolf. The Commission’s proposal came after the European Parliament twice rejected an initial proposal to allow such food products after a strict safety assessment. Studies have confirmed that food from cloned animals is safe to eat.