FSA rubber-stamps cloned offspring recommendations
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has completed its U-turn on the issue of meat descended from cloned animals and will now tell the government it can be allowed into the food chain.
Last year it had said that meat from the offspring of cloned animals sold into the food chain by a Scottish farmer should have been authorised by the FSA under EU novel foods rules and was therefore “illegal”.
But at its board meeting this week, it accepted a paper which said: “The FSA is minded to adopt the position taken by the European Commission and others, that food obtained from the descendants of clones of cattle and pigs does not require authorisation under the novel foods regulation.”
The FSA decision is based on evidence and advice from the European Food Safety Authority and the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes that “there are no food safety grounds for regulating foods from the descendants of cloned cattle and pigs”.
However, the move has been criticised by the consumer group Which?, which labelled it a “disappointment”.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: “Our research shows that consumers see little difference between meat and dairy products from actual clones or their offspring.
“As well as an approval process, we want to see a tracking system and clear labelling of these goods on the supermarket shelf. The supply chain may be complex, particularly as products from clones can be unknowingly imported from other countries, but it’s vital that the FSA and the government respect people’s desire to know what they’re eating and control the use of cloning technology in food."