Cloned beef enters UK food chain
Following reports that products from the offspring of cloned cows have entered the UK food chain, the Food Standards Agency has moved to reassure worried consumers by saying there is no evidence that consuming products from healthy clones, or their offspring, poses a food safety risk. However, as they are considered novel foods, they need to be authorised before being placed on the market
The FSA says it has traced all of the calves born in the UK from eight embryos harvested from a cloned cow in the US. Four of these embryos resulted in male calves and four were female. It has also confirmed that tmeat from a second bull, Parable, has entered the food chain. Parable was born in May 2007 and was slaughtered 5 May 2010. This is in addition to the confirmation that meat from another of the bulls, Dundee Paratrooper, entered the food chain in 2009. Meat from both of these animals will have been eaten.
The FSA has also confirmed that a third bull (Dundee Perfect) was slaughtered on 27 July 2010 and its meat has been prevented from entering the food chain.
The fourth male calf died at about one month old. No meat or products from this young animal entered the food chain and its carcass was disposed of in accordance with the law.
Of the four female cows, Dundee Paradise is alive on a UK dairy farm. Following a visit from local authority officials, the Agency has been informed that there is no evidence milk from this animal has entered the food chain.
The Agency has traced two other cows that it believes are being kept as part of dairy herds but cannot confirm whether or not milk from these animals has entered the food chain. Local authority officials are visiting the farms on which these animals are kept.
The fourth female calf died at less than a month old. No meat or products from this young animal entered the food.