Source: Soil Association
Despite the Food Standards Agency claiming that meat and milk from cloned animals is „hypothetically safe’“ they admit that: "the current evidence on the composition of meat and milk is relatively limited, and further evidence is required on how the rearing of animals in different environments may affect the meat and milk.“ In addition, there is "no data on the composition of meat or milk obtained from the descendants of cloned cattle“. It is not good enough to say that the meat and milk from cloned animals is „unlikely“ to pose a food safety risk, the Soil Association reports. There are insufficient long-term studies into the impacts of cloned foodstuffs on human health. At present it is impossible to say whether or not we are breeding genetic weaknesses into our food supply. The FSA should take note of the high level of international concern about this damaging new technology. The FSA paper highlights that: „there has been little significant consumption of meat and milk from cloned cattle or their descendants elsewhere in the world.“ (Meat And Milk From Cloned Cattle And Their Progeny, committee paper for discussion, Advisory Committee on Novel Foods And Processes)
In the USA, where the technology has been most widely used, there is a moratorium on meat and milk from cloned animals. The European Parliament recently voted for an immediate moratorium on clones in the food chain until legislation prohibiting foods from cloned animals and their descendants can be put in place. Apart from food safety questions, there are a number of other reasons why cloning should be banned. Cloning is damaging to animal welfare at all stages of the process - cloned animals and their surrogate mothers suffer a variety of health problems and abnormalities. The European Food Safety Authority concluded that the health and welfare of a significant proportion of clones has been found to be adversely affected, and the European Group on Ethics concluded that, considering the current level of suffering and health problems of surrogate dams and animal clones, they could find no ethical justification for cloning animals for food.