Clone protesters deliver petition
Masked David Cameron 'clones' have gathered at a London landmark as part of a stunt by campaigners against the cloning of animals for food production.
The 35 clones lined up outside the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, holding a large banner stating Cloning = Cruelty as campaigners prepared to walk down Whitehall to present a petition to Downing Street.
More than 7,000 people have signed the open letter to the Prime Minister, organised by charity Compassion in World Farming, in just a few days. The charity is pressing for an EU-wide ban on the cloning of animals for food and the sale of meat and milk from clones and their offspring.
Campaigners argue cloning is cruel and that meat and diary produce from cloned animals or their offspring should not enter the food chain.
The protest follows controversy this week over claims a British farmer had admitted using milk in his daily production without labelling it as from the offspring of a cloned cow. The Food Standards Agency (FSA), which launched an investigation into the reports, later admitted meat from the offspring of a cloned cow entered the food chain last year.
Further revelations followed that the cloned cow whose offspring entered the food chain could have more than 100 descendants in the UK.
The FSA subsequently indicated it would look at the possibility of tracing "third generation clones" after later confirming two cloned offspring had found their way on to British dinner plates.
Under European law, foodstuffs including milk produced from cloned animals must pass a safety evaluation and gain authorisation before they are marketed.
But the FSA, the body responsible for the assessment of "novel foods" produced by cloned animals and their offspring, previously said it had not made any authorisations nor been asked to do so.
Compassion in World Farming was founded in 1967 by a British farmer who became horrified by the development of modern, intensive factory farming.