9 December 2013

The European Commission is set to propose a total ban on produce from cloned animals entering the food chain (first generation), Europolitics has learned. A decision to this end is going to be adopted without discussion by the College of Commissioners, on 18 December. According to sources, the proposal will not provide for a solution to the controversial issue of food produced from the offspring of cloned animals (second and thirrd generation), which led to the collapse of the three-way negotiations on the novel foods proposal back in March 2011. No decision should be expected either on the labelling of products from cloned animals – a solution put forward by the European Parliament three years ago. To buy some extra time, the College of Commissioners will authorise Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos to draft a feasibility report that would assess technical options for the labelling of such products, a source told Europolitics.

In March 2011, during the last phase of the conciliation talks on the novel foods proposal, the Council and Commission backed a ban on cloning for food production, but rejected a ban on food from offspring, leading MEPs to propose a compromise on labelling of clone-derived meat. The Council agreed only to label fresh beef, which MEPs found insufficient. “Measures regarding clone offspring are absolutely critical because clones are commercially viable only for breeding, not directly for food production. No farmer would spend €100,000 on a cloned bull only to turn it into hamburgers,” Kartika Liotard (GUE-NGL, Netherlands), EP rapporteur on novel foods, said after the collapse of talks, on 29 March 2011.

The novel foods package will include a proposal on nanotechnology.

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