August 4, 2010

Cloned Cow Meat Reportedly Leaked Into UK Food Supply

An investigation into the sale of milk from cloned cow offspring has uncovered evidence that the meat of cattle sired by cloned cows has also entered the British food supply.

According to AFP reports, officials from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) discovered that the meat had become part of the food chain sometime last year. The source of the meat was a pair of bulls who were born from embryos taken from a cloned cow in the United States.

The bulls were born in Britain and slaughtered, officials told the news agency, and meat from one of them had found its way into the food supply and would have already been consumed.

"The first (bull), Dundee Paratrooper, was born in December 2006 and was slaughtered in July 2009. Meat from this animal entered the food chain and will have been eaten," an FSA spokeswoman told AFP on Wednesday. "The second, Dundee Perfect, was born in March 2007 and was slaughtered on July 27 2010. Meat from this animal has been stopped from entering the food chain."

A report in last Friday's edition of the International Herald Tribune newspaper quoted a British dairy farmer who claimed to be using milk from a cloned cow as part of his daily production. In their probe, the FSA traced the claims back to a single cow, known as Dundee Paradise, which was believed to have been part of a dairy herd. However, they were unable to confirm that milk from the cow had actually become available for consumption, according to AFP.

Shortly after the claims of the anonymous farmer, who feared that consumers would stop purchasing his products if they knew it came from the offspring of cloned cattle, the FSA told reporters that they had not "received any applications relating to cloning and no authorizations have been made"¦ The agency will, of course, investigate any reports of unauthorized novel foods entering the food chain."

On Monday, Dairy UK, an advocacy group representing dairy farmers, producers, and distributors throughout the United Kingdom, released a statement addressing concerns over the products of cloned cattle.

"Milk and meat from the offspring of clones does not present any food safety risk," the organization said on their official website. "The European Food Safety Authority has concluded that there is no difference in food safety between meat and milk from the offspring of cloned animals and products from conventionally bred animals."


On the Net: