MEPs vote for cloned meat to be removed from sale

European MPs have demanded cloned meat should be removed from sale until a new law is voted into force.

According to Labour MEP Linda McAvan: "Cloned meat and milk should be off the menu until a new law is in place regulating production."

The Commission and Council want dairy and meat from cloned animals regulated under novel food rules, but MEPs voted to exclude the products from these regulations. Instead, they would like new EU legislation to prohibit foods from cloned animals and their descendants.

Dutch MEP Kartika Liotard said: "A clear majority in the European Parliament supports ethical objections to the industrial production of cloned meat for food. Cloned animals suffer disproportionately highly from illnesses, malformations and premature death. MEPs have called for proper regulation for years."

John Dalli, Member of the European Commission, responsible for health and consumer policy, said: "The Commission's position is that food from cloned animals should not be put on the market without authorisation, as they are considered novel foods. The situation is, however, rather different for the offspring of cloned animals. Such animals cannot be distinguished from those of conventional lineage."

Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson insisted that the situation was clouded by the amount of meat arriving from the US. "We currently import over £2bn-worth of bovine meat from the US alone every year. Because they have no regulatory controls on cloning in America, some of this meat could be from first-generation cloned animals."

>> Meat from cloned bulls can be sold in UK, says EU

>> Cloned meat enters UK food chain via US cow

>> European Parliament votes for cloned products ban

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