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Cloned Meat Entered UK Food Chain

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Cloned Meat Entered UK Food Chain

August 04
12:18 2010

The Food Standards Agency in the UK has confirmed that meat from a cloned animal has entered the British food chain and has been eaten. While there is no evidence that consuming products from healthy clones, or their offspring, poses a food safety risk, meat and products from clones and their offspring are considered novel foods and would therefore need to be authorised before being placed on the market.

The European Food Safety Authority issued an opinion in 2008 which stated that: ‘No clear evidence has emerged to suggest any differences between food products from clones or their offspring, in terms of food safety, compared to products from conventionally bred animals. But we must acknowledge that the evidence base, while growing and showing consistent findings, is still small.’

The FSA is continuing its work on tracing the offspring of clones claimed to produce milk for the UK dairy industry. The agency has traced a single animal, which is believed to be part of a dairy herd but at present it cannot confirm that milk from this animal has entered the food chain.

The FSA has reminded food business operators of their responsibility to ensure food they produce is compliant with the law. In order to produce food products from clones or their offspring, a novel food application must be submitted and authorisation granted at a European level before any such food is placed on the market. As the UK agency responsible for accepting novel food applications, the FSA has not received any applications relating to cloning and no authorisations have been made. The penalty for failing to comply with the Novel Foods Regulations is a fine of up to £5,000.

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