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Cloned products 'need no labelling'

Milk and meat from the offspring of cloned animals does not need special authorisation before reaching supermarket shelves, the food safety watchdog will tell the Government today.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) Board said there were no food safety reasons for regulating the produce sold from cattle or pigs bred from cloned animals.

The decision could pave the way for such foodstuffs to be sold freely and unlabelled on the high street.

Under European law, food or drink produced from cloned animals must pass a safety evaluation and get approval under the Novel Food Regulations before they are marketed.

But the FSA ruled there was no difference between the composition of meat or milk from the descendants of cloned animals and that from conventionally-reared animals.

It also said there was no need to introduce mandatory labelling because it would offer no food safety benefit to shoppers.

The board's conclusions came after a probe was launched when it emerged beef from the offspring of a cloned cow had been sold and eaten in the UK.

According to the minutes of September's board meeting, members discussed how the public had "little appetite" for food from cloned animals but said ministers should be advised that regulating such produce would be difficult.

The board agreed to advise ministers that the marketing of food from cloned animals should be subject to authorisation as novel foods.

Members also agreed to follow the European Commission by recommending food from the offspring of cloned animals does not need authorisation.


From Belfast Telegraph