» This Story:Read +| Comments
More news from:  Science  |  Environment  |  Health

European Ethics Group Opposes Food From Cloned Animals

Discussion Policy
Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.
By Rick Weiss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 18, 2008; Page A16

Opponents of cloning animals for food got a boost yesterday as a European ethics body came out against the practice, expressing concerns about the clones' welfare.

This Story

The report, from the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies, which advises the European Commission, is likely to weigh heavily in the growing European debate on the issue. It counters a scientific report released there last week that, like one by the Food and Drug Administration, found no human health concerns connected to the consumption of meat and milk from clones.

Unlike in the United States, the European Commission is required by law to consider ethical criteria when approving new foods. The new report notes that cloned farm animals have much higher than normal prenatal death rates, as well as a higher prevalence of physiological problems after birth.

Cloned animals' surrogate mothers also tend to have problems during birth and in some cases must be euthanized.

"At present, the EGE does not see convincing arguments to justify the production of food from clones and their offspring," the report concludes.

"I'm just thrilled," said Joyce D'Silva, ambassador for Compassion in World Farming, an animal welfare group in Godalming, England. "There may be no problems from eating this stuff, but there are problems producing it. Ethical problems that are very important."

Barbara Glenn, director of animal biotechnology with the Biotechnology Industry Organization, whose members include the major U.S. farm animal cloning companies, said the report got it backward.

"The ethical imperative to use a proven livestock breeding method such as cloning is clear," Glenn said. "As long as there is hunger, animal cloning is one of the tools to allow farmers and ranchers to continue to produce the healthier livestock that produce healthy foods."

» This Story:Read +| Comments
© 2008 The Washington Post Company