The European Food Safety Authority last week released its final report on milk and food from cloned animals, raising questions and concerns about the sample sizes included in studies that have been conducted to date. The report demonstrated a marked shift away from the more positive draft assessment released by EFSA in January.
According to EFSA, "uncertainties in the risk assessment arise due to the limited number of studies available, the small sample sizes investigated, and, in general, the absence of a uniform approach that would allow all the issues relevant to this opinion to be more satisfactorily addressed." The report also noted that there were animal welfare problems associated with cloning.
The European Commission will consider this report, along with the results of a consumer opinion survey to be conducted this fall, when it decides whether to approve milk and food from cloned animals for sale in Europe.
"The results of this report raise serious questions about whether the European Union will approve milk and meat from clones in the near term," said Clay Hough, IDFA senior group vice president and general counsel. "But it's unknown what impact the European decision will have on the review process currently underway in the United States."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is analyzing the potential market impact that allowing milk and food from cloned animals would have on domestic and global markets. Until the analysis is complete, the department has asked for the voluntary moratorium on marketing food products from clones to remain in place. For more information, click here.