Animal cloning and labelling

4 December 2013     


James Nicholson (ECR)                   

A report from a meeting of the College of Commissioners last month suggests that the Commission is considering the labelling of fresh beef from first-generation offspring of cloned animals. Although the Commission plans to retain a suspension of the use of clone breeding techniques for EU cattle, horses, pigs, sheep and goats for a five-year period, it appears willing to consider labelling fresh beef derived from the progeny of cloned cattle, as food can be segregated at slaughterhouse and cutting plant level without additional cost.

In light of the controversies surrounding the use of cloning techniques, particularly in the context of ongoing Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations between the Commission and US representatives, what steps will the Commission take to assure EU farmers that they will not be at a competitive disadvantage compared with US exports if the Commission does decide to label fresh beef from the first-generation offspring of cloned animals?

12 February 2014

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

On 18 December 2013 the Commission adopted two proposals(1) for directives on cloning. These directives would prohibit the use of the cloning technique in the Union for farm animals (bovine, ovine, caprine, porcine and equine species), imports of animal clones and the marketing of their food in the Union.

(1) COM(2013) 893 final and COM(2013) 892 final.