‘Novel’ status of food from descendants of cloned cattle and pigs
At its meeting in December 2010, the FSA Board made clear its position that the marketing of products obtained from cloned animals should continue to be subject to the Novel Foods Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 258/97), and require authorisation. However, based on the available evidence, the Board agreed that there are no food safety grounds for regulating food such as meat and milk from the descendants of cloned cattle and pigs.
The Agency subsequently sought the views of interested parties on this potential change in the interpretation of the regulation in respect of food from the descendants of cloned cattle and pigs.
The majority of responses received by the FSA did not address the specific question regarding the scope of the regulation but raised various concerns about food safety, animal welfare and ethics. Although some specific questions, including whether the Agency should take factors other than food safety into account when assessing novel foods, were raised and considered by the Agency none of the responses received were viewed to change the overall conclusion reached by the Board.
In view of this, the FSA announced on 13 May 2011 that it had changed its advice on the scope of the novel foods regulation in relation to the descendants of cloned cattle and pigs. In doing so, the FSA indicated that it will investigate what further steps might be taken in light of the continuing consumer concerns over ethical issues in relation to food from cloned animals or their descendants.