Talks breakdown in EU about labeling food from cloned animals

The discussions over regulations on food from cloned animals that collapsed again in the EU six weeks ago, leaving the issue open to uncertainty, has led Europe’s Parliament to send an urgent request to Brussels to craft new measures on animal cloning.

Members of European Parliament claimed at a debate last week in Strasbourg, France that a memo circulated through European Council stood in contradiction to the European Commission that stated banning food from cloned animals would be in breach of the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, and could lead to a trade war.

EP president Gianni Pittella said during a plenary debate that the absence of any agreement would allow the continued sale of cloned animal food in the EU, without any mandatory labeling, despite his opinion that the situation is “a matter of urgency” and that labeling of food from cloned animals was a basic consumer right.

The discussions came to a stand still back in March when the Council and European Commissions, while in agreement on several issues, could not see eye to eye about the labeling of food coming from offspring of cloned animals, and whether or not accurate labeling could actually be properly implemented.

Beyond labeling all cloned animal products, The Council also proposed a package to address concerns, which includes seeking a ban on the procedure of cloning, and a ban on any clones entering the EU with the intention of being used in food production. Additional measures included a tracking system for semen and embyros of cloned animals and offspring.

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Photo: James Bowe