EFSA confirms opinion on safety of animal cloning

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Posted on: 29 Sep 2012

On July 5, 2012, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published an update of its scientific statement on animal clones and their offspring for food production.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Voluntary Public - Date: 7/13/2012 GAIN Report Number: E70031 EU-27 Post: Brussels USEU EFSA confirms opinion on safety of animal cloning Report Categories: Biotechnology and Other New Production Technologies Livestock and Products Approved By: Cynthia Guven Prepared By: Yvan Polet Report Highlights: On July 5, 2012, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published an update of its scientific statement on animal clones and their offspring for food production. EFSA’s findings from this latest review reiterated its earlier statement that, with regard to food safety, there is no indication of any difference between food derived from healthy clones or their offspring and food from healthy conventionally bred animals. General Information: On July 5, 2012, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published an update of its scientific statement [1] on animal clones and their offspring for food production. As mandated by the European Commission, EFSA examined new scientific information that had become available since its previous report in 2010. EFSA’s findings from this latest review reiterated its earlier statement that, with regard to food safety, there is no indication of any difference between food derived from healthy clones or their offspring and food from healthy conventionally bred animals. The available scientific data also provided no evidence to suggest a risk to genetic diversity, biodiversity or the environment from clones or their offspring compared to conventionally bred animals. EFSA nevertheless felt that animal health and welfare remained a matter for concern, due to the increased number of deaths at all stages of clones’ development. EFSA noted, however, that this concern did not extend to offspring of clones that were conventionally bred as they appeared to develop normally. A press release of the EFSA opinion is available at: http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/press/news/120705.htm. Background The European Commission (EC) expects to have a draft regulation for animal cloning and the marketing of food products derived from cloned animals and their offspring by spring 2013. In preparation for this proposed regulation, the EC launched a period of public consultation [2] from May 3, 2012 to September 3, 2012. The EC is also conducting an impact assessment, which should conclude at the end of 2012. EFSA’s latest review is also part of these preparations. Food from clones and their offspring is currently covered under the 1997 Novel Foods regulation. In 2008, the EC proposed a fundamental reform of the EU novel foods regulation to better manage and encourage innovation in food; food from clones and offspring was more explicitly addressed in this revision of the regulation. The proposal failed to be approved, however, as feelings ran high on the subject of cloning, with the European Parliament calling for an outright ban on cloning and food from clones and their offspring. After several revisions and years of negotiation, the proposal went to Conciliation, and in March 2011, it failed to be adopted as the European Parliament and Council could not agree on the handling of food from clones and their offspring. This experience provided the catalyst for a call for a separate regulation on cloning to encompass both the act of cloning and food products derived from it. For more background info see earlier reports from USEU Brussels on this issue: Report Num Title Date Released ber E60023 Proposed revision of EU novel foods regulation failed to win approval 04/14/2011 Proposed Novel Foods Regulation could impede Animal Product E60004 01/28/2011 Exports E50027 Update on Status of the Novel Foods Proposal - 2nd Reading Phase 03/30/2010 E49010 EC Orientation Debate on Animal Cloning 01/30/2009 E48084 Review of the animal cloning situation in the EU 07/25/2008 E48014 Proposal for a Novel Foods Framework Regulation 01/30/2008 E48006 EFSA releases Draft Opinion on Animal Cloning 01/15/2008 These reports can be accessed through the FAS website http://www.fas.usda.gov/scriptsw/attacherep/default.asp. [1] http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/doc/2794.pdf [2] http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/health_consumer/dgs_consultations/animal_cloning_consultation_en.htm
Posted: 29 September 2012

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