EU cautious on US plan to milk cloned cows

EU - Debate on whether to approve milk from cloned cattle for general consumption in the US is unlikely to be replicated in Europe in the near future, because consumers would reject the products.
calendar icon 27 November 2006
clock icon 2 minute read
The European Dairy Association said there were no plans to get dairy foods from cloned animals approved for consumption in the EU.
Its comments follow a statement from America's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that it hoped to draft regulations on milk and meat from cloned animals in the US in the next few months.

Joop Kleibeuker, secretary general of the European Dairy Association (EDA), told “This is a new development and something that may offer possibilities to improve milk production by cows, but there's no intention as far as I know to have this introduced into the EU in the short or medium term.”

He said the EDA had so far not considered the issue in any detail, and was hesitant to jump into a debate that remained highly emotional – bound up with fears over genetically modified foods.

“From a purely scientific point of view, the FDA might be right, it may be safe. But for the time being we don't see acceptance of this from EU citizens, and we are producing products for our consumers.”

Consumers groups in the US have already lambasted FDA plans to approve milk and meat from cloned cattle. One, the Center for Food Safety, has called for a nationwide moratorium.

The strong reaction reveals the dilemma dairy firms everywhere might face: do cloning's advantages to breeding outweigh the potential consumer storm such practices could whip up?

One main study published last year, and cited by the FDA, said it found no difference in milk quality, including protein, fat, antibody and lactose content, from cloned cows.

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