EFSA - no safety concerns over food from cloned animals 09 Jul 2012
The European Food Safety Authority have concluded in its latest review, that foods particularly meat and milk derived from cloned animals or their offspring show no signs of being any different or posing safety concerns compared to products from conventional sources.
In brief they report, after reviewing recent scientific literature and other information that
- Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) can produce healthy clones, but during the SCNT cloning process, animal health and welfare remains a matter of concern mainly due to mortality at all developmental stages (from the perinatal period until the juvenile stage, as well as mortality through abortion), which is higher than for other ARTs with in vitro produced embryos. Importantly however, there are no indications found for health and welfare concerns for offspring of clones born through conventional breeding.
- For cloning of farmed animals as such, there is no new scientific information that would suggest risk to genetic diversity, biodiversity or the environment, when compared to conventionally bred farmed animals.
- Data on clones of farmed species for food production other than cattle and pigs have remainedlimited and do not allow for assessment of food safety or animal health and welfare aspects.
- Large sample sizes that would allow more robust conclusions are also often not available.
- Continued research with farmed animals for the optimisation of the different steps of SCNT cloning has resulted in increased knowledge on the basic biological processes involved. Limited improvements were shown by some researchers, but so far have not led to a breakthrough for the overall cloning efficiency.
More information on Animal Cloning
Insight in Animal Cloning IFST Information Statement