Press release

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Novel food

Greens call for immediate ban on cloned farm animals

Commenting on today's vote on the Novel Food Regulation in the Environment Committee, Green MEP Martin Häusling said:

"The research underlying the study 'Cloned farm animals' (1) concluded that cloning could have adverse health effects. Higher rates of infection, along with diseases and malformations in liver and brains of mice, sheep and cows have been reported. Furthermore, these effects could also be detected in subsequent generations of these cloned animals. From a consumer perspective it is alarming that US research has shown in a few cases that even the composition of milk can differ between a cloned and non-cloned animal. European farmers and consumers are concerned that food products derived from cloned animals might have already entered the food chain without prior knowledge.

To ensure a high level of animal welfare, Europe needs a ban on cloned animals, their offspring and derived products, such as semen and embryos. Trade in cloned animals is less economically important than the market for the semen and embryos of cloned animals. The economic interests behind the few companies pushing their technology into markets should not lead to any hasty decisions in EU legislation. The aim is to avoid entry of these products into the market without authorisation, controls and traceability. Europe needs specific legislation on traceability of cloned animals and food products derived from them.

Consumers neither need nor wish to drink milk or eat meat derived from cloned animals. The study "Cloned animals - a killing application" by Christoph Then confirms their concerns:there is a serious lack of scientific evidence guaranteeing the food safety of cloned farm animals."

Notes for editors:

1) The study 'cloned farmed animals - a killing application' by Christoph Then, available for download at

2) Europeans are very sceptical about animal cloning for food production, Euro barometer reveals from 9 October 2008