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Press release |

Animal cloning

EU governments keep door open to meat from cloned animals

EU agriculture ministers, meeting in Luxembourg, have today agreed to include meat and food products sourced from cloned animals in the proposed 'Novel Foods Regulation', which is a potential stepping stone towards legislation to authorise such products.

UK Green MEP Caroline Lucas commented:

"It is deeply worrying that EU governments are keeping options open regarding the possible sale of meat from cloned animals on the European market. This flies in the face of consumer concerns and a European Parliament vote in favour of an outright ban.

"Cloning is an incredibly wasteful way of producing food, requiring the loss of many animal lives just to produce one successful clone. Animals that do survive suffer dramatically high rates of illness and premature death.

"A green light to produce food from cloned animals would ultimately lead to a reduction in breed and genetic varieties of livestock, which have already become restricted through current practices. Such variety offers an essential safeguard against epidemics and food scares.

"In upcoming negotiations, the European Parliament must stand firm in calling for a ban on meat from cloned animals. Animal welfare, food safety, consumer confidence and the future direction of agriculture are at stake.

"Today agriculture ministers also refused to take on board Parliament's demand to label products from GM-fed animals. If an animal is given genetically-modified fodder, then its milk, meat and eggs should be labelled accordingly."

*** ENDS ***

Notes to editors

(1) See European Parliament votes:

Animal cloning, 3 September 2008:
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?language=EN&type=IM-PRESS&reference=20080902IPR35964

Novel foods, 25 March 2009:
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P6-TA-2009-0171

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