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Three clone offspring in food chain

Meat from a total of three offspring of a cloned cow has entered the food chain, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said.

The FSA said its investigation into cloned animals in the UK had revealed a male calf of less than a month old was slaughtered on June 16 and the meat sold in a London butcher's shop.

It said the meat and that from two other animals had entered the food chain without authorisation but stressed there was no evidence of a safety risk.

The FSA launched an investigation in the wake of claims that a British farmer had admitted using milk in his daily production without labelling it as from the offspring of a cloned cow.

But the agency said it had received assurances from authorities, the dairy industry and the farmers involved that no milk from any of the animals under investigation had entered the food chain.

Last week it traced all of the calves born in the UK from eight embryos from a cloned cow in the US, confirming that meat from two bulls had entered the food chain.

Five of the eight animals had produced offspring, which were all too young to have been milked or used for breeding. However, one male calf had become the third to enter the food chain.

It confirmed that meat from the first animal, Dundee Paratrooper, slaughtered in 2009, was sold at four butchers' shops in Scotland and a single butcher's shop in north-east England.

Meat from the second animal, Parable, which was slaughtered on May 5, was sent to Belgium. The agency said it had not yet decided if it would reveal the identities of those involved in the investigation.

It added: "While there is no evidence that consuming products from healthy clones, or their offspring, poses a food safety risk, 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."


From Belfast Telegraph