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Food: Cloning Animals

Volume 470: debated on Thursday 24 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his Department’s policy is on the cloning of animals for food production; and if he will make a statement. (180671)

The sale of foods and food ingredients derived from cloned animals falls within the scope of the Novel Foods Regulation (EC) 258/97. The authorisation and labelling of novel foods is decided on a case-by-case basis and no applications have been received to date for the authorisation of products derived from cloned animals. Any application would be evaluated on the basis of the information provided. In the meantime, foods obtained from cloned animals cannot be sold for human consumption.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the European Food Standards Agency’s draft scientific opinions relating to the (a) food safety, (b) animal health and welfare and (c) environmental impact of cloned animals, their offspring and the products obtained from these animals; and if he will make a statement. (180672)

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued its draft opinion for consultation on 11 January 2008. The Food Standards Agency is examining the food safety aspects of the draft opinion and will provide its comments to EFSA before the end of the consultation period, which runs until 25 February 2008. Animal health and welfare and the environmental impact of farming practices are the responsibility of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.