Farmers Guardian claims farming minister Jim Paice has indicated a change of policy is imininent in response to questions from Conservative MP Zac Goldmsith.
It reported Paice said: “For the future, the government shares the (European) Commission’s view that there should be no restrictions on the use of offspring of cloned animals.”
The news follows on from the recent furore last summer over meat from the offspring of cloned animals entering the food chain. At the time, the UK’s Food Standards Agency took a hard line, interpreting the EU Novel Foods Regulation as approval needed to be sought before food from the offspring of cloned animals can be sold for human consumption, making the sale of meat from a Scottish farm ‘illegal’.
However, the position of the European Comission was that the regulation only applied to food from cloned animals, not their offspring.
The government’s Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP) has now presented findings that showed “no substantial difference to conventionally produced meat” from the offspring of clones and that it was “unlikely to present a food safety risk”. The FSA has now changed its advice to ministers on the back of those findings.
The FSA said it was “minded to change its interpretation of the legislation” and issued a consultation on the subject, which closed on 10 February. It said it was now considering reponses before issuing final advice to ministers.