Clones & GM Animals

Clones & GM Animals: Why We Don’t Want or Need Them

The people of Europe don't want cloned animals for food.

Europe is on the verge of a significant, but preventable, shift in our relationship with the animals we rear for food.
Act to Ban Cloning

Europe is on the verge of a unacceptable, but preventable, shift in our relationship with the animals we rear for food. Under pressure from the GM industry and a handful of companies developing GM animals and clones for profit, the regulatory mechanisms needed to keep these animals out of our food lag behind.

Sometime soon food from GM animals may enter the EU food chain in two ways: eating GM animals as food or inadvertently eating GM insects used in agriculture. Food & Water Europe is fighting both developments. Learn more about where we stand on:

Did You Know?
  • We don’t need GM animals to feed the world read why — read why.
  • Many farmers say that they have no interest in clones because they don’t help their work to constantly improve the quality of animals over time.
  • Cloning only produces live animals in a maximum 5 percent of attempts. The animals that don’t survive, and their mothers, suffer a variety of conditions so painful that the technique can only be considered cruel.

You can read our critique of the EU’s current approach to GM animals in our submission to EFSA’s public consultation here, and the risks they pose to the environment here.

When a Scottish farmer released clone offspring cattle into the food chain without authorisation in 2010, a public outcry and market rejection followed. The European Group on Ethics, which advises the European Commission (EC), said that it “does not see convincing arguments to justify the production of food from clones and their offspring”.

The EC’s position is that food from clones should not be allowed, but that food from the offspring of clones is “no different” from other foods, so it doesn’t even need to be labelled. The EC tried to use international trade law as an excuse, but leaked documents show that the legal advice they received said that the EU can ban clones.

Food & Water Europe wonders how it is possible for clone offspring to be acceptable if the process that produced their parents is not. All food from clones and their offspring should be banned. You can read more about cloning in our factsheet.