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Meat From Cloned Animal Has Entered Food Chain

04 August 2010

UK - Of two bulls born in the UK from embryos harvested from a cloned cow in the US, one animal has entered the UK food chain.

Both of these bulls have been slaughtered. The first, Dundee Paratrooper, was born in December 2006 and was slaughtered in July 2009. Meat from this animal entered the food chain and will have been eaten, says the Food Standards Agency.

The second, Dundee Perfect, was born in March 2007 and was slaughtered on 27 July 2010. Meat from this animal has been stopped from entering the food chain.

While there is no evidence that consuming products from healthy clones, or their offspring, poses a food safety risk, meat and products from clones and their offspring are considered novel foods and would therefore need to be authorised before being placed on the market.

The Agency is continuing its work on tracing the offspring of clones claimed to produce milk for the UK dairy industry. So far they have traced a single animal, Dundee Paradise, which is believed to be part of a dairy herd but at present the Agency cannot confirm that milk from this animal has entered the food chain. As part of this investigation local authority officials are visiting the farm on which this herd is kept.

The Agency would like to remind food business operators of their responsibility to ensure food they produce is compliant with the law. In order to produce food products from clones or their offspring, a novel food application must be submitted and authorisation granted at a European level before any such food is placed on the market. The FSA is the UK authority responsible for accepting novel food applications. The penalty for failing to comply with the Novel Foods Regulations is a fine of up to £5,000.

No food products from cloned animals have previously been authorised by the FSA, and there is much speculation as to whether food produced from the offspring of cloned cows would be authorised.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.

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