Posted December 19, 2013
 
The European Commission recently proposed a draft rule banning the cloning of farm animals, imports of cloned livestock, and the sale of food from cloned animals, according to a Bloomberg article available here.
 
The European Commissionis the executive body of the European Union and is responsible for proposing legislation, among other things.  The proposal “seeks to address worries about animal welfare and other ethical concerns related to use of cloning.”
 
The proposal is “not likely” to have a high impact on trade.
 
Animal clones are “copies created by transferring genetic material into an egg which is then implanted in a surrogate mother, who will carry and give birth to the clone.”  The success rate for the procedure is “6 percent to 15 percent for cattle and 6 percent for pigs,” according to a report by the European Food Safety Authority.
 
The import and sale of offspring of cloned animals would be permitted under the proposal, according to a Reuters article available here.  This distinction is due to welfare concerns surrounding animal cloning, not their conventionally bred offspring.
 
The draft rule, however, may find opposition from lawmakers in the European Parliament, “which previously said it would only accept the sale of food from the young of clones if all such products were clearly labeled.”
 
The Commission said it needed more time to determine whether labeling was feasible.

 

For more information on biotechnology and food labeling, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website hereand here.