Offspring of clones in food chain leaves EU in bind

Mar 17, 2011
Hungarian Minister of Agriculture Rural Development Sandor Fazekas gives a press conference during the European environment ministers council meeting in Brussels on March 14. A new law regulating access for the first time for offspring of cloned animals to meat markets in Europe is heading for the dustbin, the European Union's current chair said Thursday.

A new law regulating access for the first time for offspring of cloned animals to meat markets in Europe is heading for the dustbin, the European Union's current chair said Thursday.

A string of "Frankenfood" scares following the emergence of "non-traceable offspring" in the food chain in Britain and elsewhere lies behind an unusually hard line from the -- but leaves gaps in legal provisions that pre-dated 1996 trailblazer wide open.

Negotiations going back three years among the 27 states, the executive European Commission and the elected parliament that together must craft EU policy collapsed in acrimony after nine-hour overnight talks, incurring the anger of farm ministers meeting in Brussels.

Parliament's rejection of legislation as drafted "would require drawing a family tree for each slice of cheese or salami, which is practically impossible," said Hungarian rural development minister Sandor Fazekas, chairing the talks.

Negotiators for the MEPs "did not have the flexibility to discuss the possibility of allowing foodstuffs from naturally conceived animals with clones among their ancestors."

He said states had agreed "the maximum possible protection of consumers with a system that is practically and legally feasible."

Anything more "would be misleading consumers and create horrendous extra cost for farmers," Fazekas added.

The states and the EU's executive maintain that a ban on the sale of naturally born offspring of cloned animals, which the parliament wants, "would result in a trade ban on beef, pork and dairy product."

They argue this would increase prices and risk retaliation by trading partners, hitting rural agricultural exports.

for research is not covered in the legislative proposals, which must be wrapped up by the end of March or go back to the drawing board.

"Last-chance conciliation" is set for March 28.

The parliament's negotiators said it was "incredible" that states were "exclusively tied to commercial trade interests" and "willing to turn a blind eye to public opinion, as well as the ethical and animal welfare problems associated with cloning."

Explore further: Noted researchers warn that biomedical research system in US is unsustainable

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

No cloned steaks on EU plates

Oct 19, 2010

The European Union on Tuesday announced plans for a five-year ban on animal cloning for food production as well as a traceability system for imports of semen and embryos of clones.

EU committee rejects clone food plan

May 04, 2010

An EU parliamentary committee on Tuesday rejected a controversial proposal to allow food from cloned animals and their offspring onto the European market.

Food agency probes cloned cow milk claim

Aug 02, 2010

Food safety officials in Britain are to investigate a claim that milk from the offspring of a cloned cow was on sale for public consumption, they said Monday.

Cow clone may have over 100 descendants in Britain

Aug 05, 2010

A cloned cow whose offspring's meat entered the British food chain may have more than 100 descendants in the country, records suggested Thursday, amid fears about their spread into the food system.

EU Parliament rejects law allowing Internet cutoff

May 06, 2009

(AP) -- Worried about trampling on the rights of innocent consumers, the European Parliament rejected Wednesday attempts by EU governments to crack down on people who illegally download copyright-protected music and movies ...

Recommended for you

Plants with dormant seeds give rise to more species

Apr 18, 2014

Seeds that sprout as soon as they're planted may be good news for a garden. But wild plants need to be more careful. In the wild, a plant whose seeds sprouted at the first warm spell or rainy day would risk disaster. More ...

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Biologists help solve fungi mysteries

(Phys.org) —A new genetic analysis revealing the previously unknown biodiversity and distribution of thousands of fungi in North America might also reveal a previously underappreciated contributor to climate ...

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.