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Statement on the Release of the European Food Safety Assessment on the Safety of Food Derived From Clones and Their Offspring in the Food Supply
Date:1/11/2008

Statement by Mark Walton, Ph.D., President, ViaGen

January 11, 2008

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "In light of the European Food Safety Authority's strong endorsement of the safety of food from clones and their offspring, we urge the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to release its final risk assessment at the earliest possible moment and to lift the voluntary moratorium. The international scientific consensus is clear: food from these animals and their offspring is as safe to eat as any other food. The opportunity to increase the availability of exceptional breeding stock offers great benefits to producers and consumers worldwide.

"ViaGen and Trans Ova - the major cloning companies in the U.S. - recently announced a tracking system that will ensure cloned animals are not introduced into the food supply. This supply chain management system was developed with the input of the entire food chain - including major representatives of the beef, pork, dairy, retail and food service industries."

Additional Resources:

Link to EFSA Report: http://tinyurl.com/27lka7

Link to clone tracking information: http://www.clonesafety.org/cloning/scm

Background on International Cloning Regulation:

-- Last year the European Commission (EC) charged the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to do a risk assessment of the safety, animal health and environmental concerns; this document was released today.

-- The governments of France and New Zealand have published risk assessments, finding the foods from clones and their offspring to be safe and equivalent.

-- Australia has accepted the New Zealand risk assessment, as they are governed by similar food safety agencies.

-- Japan has developed a risk assessment; the Japanese government is awaiting publication of FDA's final risk assessment before publishing.

-- Argentina has enacted a law permitting the use of biotechnology in agriculture including cloning. Brazil is working on a law to approve the use of cloning in livestock, a move that is necessary to register cloned animals in the breed registries. Cloning activities are underway already in both countries. It is believed that Mexico will await Canada's decision.

-- Commercial cloning research is active in Japan, China, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. In fact, China has said it plans to build a beef herd equivalent in quality to the U.S. and will use all available technologies including cloning.

About ViaGen, Inc. (http://www.viagen.com): ViaGen adds value to the marketplace by cloning cattle, horses, and pigs; licensing and selling proprietary animal genetics; and providing traits and technology for animal agriculture industries worldwide. The company is based in Austin, Texas.


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SOURCE ViaGen, Inc.
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