European Commission must ban animal cloning for food production
Posted on 14/05/2012
Eurogroup for Animals called on the European Commission to ban the cloning animals for food production during a Working Group organised by DG Consumer to help prepare its impact assessment on Cloning which also follows the opening of a public consultation on the subject.
A ban is the only option and clearly represents the views of Europe’s citizens who do not want Frankenstein foods on their plates. Eurogroup also demands that the European Commission comes forward with clear legislation to enforce such a ban and ensure that no products from cloned animals or their offspring are put on the European market.
The European Parliament rejected any compromise on the Novel Foods Directive last year, as it would haveallowed for cloned animals to be used in food production, and the inherent animal welfare problems associated with it would not be recognised or seen as important. The Commission must recognise this and act accordingly.
“Cloning is an inefficient process that wastes animals’ lives and causes animal suffering and distress at all stages of the process and must be stopped,” said Sonja Van Tichelen, Director of Eurogroup for Animals.
“Farm animals are already seen by some as commodities rather than sentient beings and cloning compounds this view resulting in less concern for animal welfare and less willingness to address welfare issues. The cloning of animals for use in food is completely unethical and unnecessary. We are convinced that banning these products from our markets is possible and in line with international trade rules. We know that despite repeated claims that it is impossible to trace these animals in the supply chain it is possible. However the European Commission is lacking the will and the courage to defend our consumers, to protect animals and to find a real solution,” she added.
Eurogroup is concerned that the routine use of cloning would greatly reduce genetic diversity within livestock populations, increasing the chances of whole herds being wiped out by disease to which they would all be equally susceptible. In addition the European Commission and the Member States currently provide subsidies to farmers who conserve traditional breeds of livestock through rural development funding. Promoting cloning of farm animals would go against this rural development objective of conserving genetic diversity in farm animals.
The development of animal cloning as a method of food production is being pursued without public awareness and in spite of well-documented public concerns relating to the use of biotechnology in food production (e.g. GM foods). This is unacceptable.
“Eurogroup for Animals believes that the EU should introduce an immediate ban on the cloning of animals for food production, and on the sale of imported food products from cloned animals and their offspring and calls on the European Commission to act immediately and robustly to reflect the concern of the European Parliament and indeed Europe’s citizens,”concluded Van Tichelen.