August 9th, 2010

Cloned Meat Reaches British Consumers on the Sly

It looks like meat and milk from the offspring of cloned cows have beaten both Frankenswine and Arnold Schwartzensalmon to market—at least in the UK—to the surprise of UK consumers and authorities alike.

Why wasn’t it prevented from entering the food chain if it wasn’t approved for human consumption? Does it pose any health risks? These are all questions that the Brits are debating as they eat their shepherd pies, which may indeed be of the cloned variety, but no one knows for sure.

A 2008 poll by Eurobarometer (2008) showed 58% of European citizens thought cloning for food production could never be justified. 83% of European citizens said special labeling should be required if food products from the offspring of cloned animals came into markets.

A report written by our UK colleague Eve Mitchell for the group GM Freeze in 2008 outlined how cloned food was probably already in the food chain. This recent row shows how companies and regulators are still struggling to reconcile new technologies with effective labeling and regulations.

-Darcey Rakestraw

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