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expert reaction to the findings of the ACNFP on cloned meat

The Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP) ruled that meat produced from cloned cattle is not significantly different from that produced from conventionally bred animals.


Dr Brendan Curran, a geneticist from Queen Mary, University of London, said:

“The findings of the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP) that “food produced from cloned animals is not significantly different to produce from conventionally-bred cattle” is wholly consistent with the findings of regulatory bodies in other countries. In January 2008, following a five year analysis, the FDA in America announced that the meat and milk from cloned cows and their offspring were indistinguishable from the meat and milk of traditionally reproduced livestock. They have continued to review the evidence, and to date there has been no suggestion that these products should be excluded from the human food chain. A study published in 2007 in France also agrees with these conclusions.

“Food safety risks aside, however, there is an ethical dimension to this technology that causes concern. Although cloned calves of six months or older do not present with major health problems, several studies describe abnormalities in foetal development and in the neonates of cloned animals. This is because much remains to be learnt about the most efficient way to use this technology, which is little more than ten years old. Therefore one of the significant issues regulatory bodies must deal with, in deciding whether to permit the use of cloned animals in breeding programmes, will be whether the usefulness of this technique in animal breeding outweighs its impact on animal well-being.”


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