Cloning Kicks up a Storm in EU Parliament26 February 2008
EU - European parliamentarians are calling for the European Union to ban cloning of animals for food and any products derived from their offspring.
According to the organisation, Eurogroup for Animals, members of the European Parliamentary Intergroup on Animal Welfare voted last night in Strasbourg in favour of a motion for a resolution to be presented to Parliament. The resolution urges the European Commission to prohibit cloning of animals for food and any products from cloned animals and their offspring.
Neil Parish MEP, the chairman of the Intergroup, said: “I would like to see an EU-wide moratorium brought in immediately to stop food from cloned animals and their offspring from reaching the food chain.”
"Cloning is an incredibly wasteful way of producing food, and causes suffering and harm to animals at every stage of development."
Director Sonja Van Tichelen
The European Union is currently considering whether to approve animal cloning for food production. The European Food Safety Authority is conducting a public consultation on its draft opinion on cloning for food until 25 February.
News of the draft motion has been welcomed by animal welfare organisation Eurogroup for Animals, which provides the secretariat for the Intergroup and also favours an immediate ban.
Director Sonja Van Tichelen said: “We are delighted the European Parliament is having an open debate on this issue. Cloning is something that will affect all of us, so people need the chance to have their say on the basis of all the facts.
“Cloning is an incredibly wasteful way of producing food, and causes suffering and harm to animals at every stage of development.”
Cloning has been proved to be an inefficient practice that requires the loss of many animal lives just to produce one successful clone. Scientists have found that the ones who do survive suffer more defects and die much earlier than non-cloned animals.
The European Group on Ethics, which advises the European Commission, said in its final opinion published on 17 January that it “does not see convincing arguments to justify the production of food from clones and their offspring”.
If the European Union were to approve cloning for food, products from cloned animals and their offspring could be on the market within the next few years. Once these products have been allowed, it will be difficult to identify them as being from cloned animals and their offspring.
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