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EU Considers Allowing Cloned Meat, Milk on Market

EFSA plans to produce a report within six months.

The issue reared its head in the EU earlier this year after the UK's Food Standards Agency revealed in January that the calf of a cloned cow was being raised on a UK farm.

After food safety officials from the 27 member states held urgent talks on the matter, a decision was reached that milk and meat from cloned animals and their offspring should be considered in the same way as any other novel food, such as genetically-modified organisms (GMOs).

This decision put the ball in EFSA's court.

In the US, debate surrounding the issue gathered momentum in recent months, after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it planned to approve cloning for food production later this year.

The US regulator has issued a consultation proposing to allow the product into the food chain without the need for labelling.

An independent study in the US indicates that 60 per cent of Americans would not knowingly eat cloned meat. A 2002 EU survey found that Europeans were generally against any new foods that had been produced through new scientific advances - such as GMOs.

Cloning uses DNA technology to produce multiple, exact copies of a single gene or other segment of DNA. It refers to the creation a new mutlicellular organism, genetically identical to another.

Reproductive cloning is a technology used to generate an animal that has the same nuclear DNA as another currently or previously existing animal, according to Wikipedia.

Cloning came to the forefront in 1996 when Dolly, a ewe, became the first mammal to have been successfully cloned from an adult cell.

She was cloned at the Roslin Institute in the UK and died after six years.

Source-Bio-Bio Technology
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