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Claim cloned cow milk sold in UK is probed

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) will investigate reports that milk from a cow produced from a cloned parent is on sale in the UK.

The International Herald Tribune reported that a British dairy farmer - who wished to remain anonymous - admitted using milk from a cow bred from a clone as part of his daily production.

Under European law, foodstuffs - including milk - produced from cloned animals must pass a safety evaluation and get approval before they are marketed.

The FSA, the UK body responsible for the assessment of so-called novel foods produced by cloned animals and their offspring, said it has not made any authorisations nor been asked to do so.

A spokeswoman said: "Since 2007 the FSA interpretation of the law has been that meat and products from clones and their offspring are considered novel foods and would therefore need to be authorised before being placed on the market.

"As the UK authority responsible for accepting novel food applications, the agency has not received any applications relating to cloning and no authorisations have been made. The agency will, of course, investigate any reports of unauthorised novel foods entering the food chain."

A spokeswoman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs referred inquiries to the FSA.

There was concern about calves born to cloned parents three years ago when it emerged that a calf from a cloned cow was born on a British farm.

Dundee Paradise was said to have been born to a surrogate mother on a Midlands farm after she was flown into Britain as a frozen embryo. Her mother was created in the US using cells from the ear of a champion dairy Holstein, according to reports.

Later that year, public outrage caused Dundee Paradise and her brother, Dundee Paratrooper, to be withdrawn from an auction but it is thought they went on sale privately instead.

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