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No to food from cloned animals, says European Parliament 25.03.09

Today(25th March) an overwhelming majority of Members of the European Parliament voted against the authorisation of food products from cloned animals and their offspring.

Eurogroup for Animals welcomes the Parliament’s call for a ban on the sale of food products from cloned animals and their offspring. This decision confirms the resolution adopted in the European Parliament last September.

Voting on the proposed regulation for the authorisation of novel foods, MEPs made clear that they want products from cloned animals and their offspring not to be regulated by this legislation, but that they want a specific Commission proposal to prohibit cloning of animals for food and the import of such products.

In July 2008, a report by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) confirmed that animals suffer as a result of this new reproduction technique while emphasizing there are still too many uncertainties about the technology. According to EU law breeding techniques that cause animals to suffer are not allowed.

Cloning is an incredibly wasteful process with only about five animals out of a 100 being born alive. Cloned animals die earlier and suffer from more defects than normal animals.

European citizens have clearly expressed their opposition to the use of this technique for food production: the results of a 2008 Eurobarometer survey show that nearly six out of ten people in Europe (58%) feel that animal cloning for food production will never be justified.

Sonja Van Tichelen, director of Eurogroup considers that the Commission is not respecting its own rules by delaying rules to ban the cloning of animals and by doing so the Commission is not only going against its own legal obligations, it is also ignoring the clear message sent by EU citizens: “It is unacceptable that with so many facts and figures against animal cloning, the European Commission has not yet taken the decision to ban it. By not banning cloning for food production the Commission is telling its citizens that it finds trade concerns more important than animal suffering and the concerns of its citizens.

Peter Shield

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