Last updated on 25 November 2010
Cloned meat is safe – hypothetically speaking
At the open meeting of the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP) today, the committee considered a hypothetical application under the Novel Foods Regulations for the approval of meat and milk from cloned cattle and their progeny.
The committee was asked to consider whether the available evidence on clones and their offspring provides a sufficient basis for the evaluation of meat and milk from such animals under the Novel Foods Regulations.
The committee noted that:
- the evidence showed no differences in composition between the meat and milk of conventional animals, clones or their progeny and is therefore unlikely to present any food safety risk
- the current evidence on the composition of meat and milk is relatively limited, and further evidence is required on how the rearing of animals in different environments may affect the meat and milk
- any potential differences between conventional cattle and the progeny of a clone were unlikely to exist from the second generation onwards
- that consumers may want to see effective labelling of products from clones and their offspring
In responding to the committee’s discussion, Food Standards Agency Chief Scientist Andrew Wadge said: ‘In considering this hypothetical application, the ACNFP has confirmed that meat and milk from cloned cattle and their offspring shows no substantial difference to conventionally produced meat and milk and therefore is unlikely to present a food safety risk.
‘The FSA Board will discuss this issue at its December meeting. The Board will consider the opinion of the ACNFP, the recent European Commission proposal to ban meat and milk from clones, and any other developments, before providing further advice to ministers.’