The U.K. Food Standards Agency (FSA) recently announced that the meat from a cloned cow has made its way into the food supply. According to a recent BBC report, a U.K. farmer purchased cloned bull embryos from the U.S., bred the animals and sold one of them as food back in July 2009.
The report states that Steven Innes, the farmer who purchased the cloned embryos and sold the cloned meat, did so in full accordance with the law.
“We investigated whether this was legal at the time and understood that there was no issue,” he explained in a statement. “We acted in good faith throughout and have been fully compliant with the relevant authorities.”
He went on to explain that the British government had expressly authorized the animals to enter the food chain. However, an investigation is currently underway as Innes did not properly notify authorities about thecloned meat nor identify it as such when selling it as food, two very serious violations.
Tim Smith, chief at FSA, responded to the news by saying he has no specific concerns about the safety of cloned beef entering the food supply, but that European law requires those who supply it to get proper approval under “novel” food regulation guidelines before selling it to consumers.
Smith also expressed that consumers “deserve to know the origin of all foods they purchase”.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration declared in 2008 that meat and milk from cloned animals is safe for human consumption. Biotechnology companies have since been creating cloned animals for the expressed purpose of increasing milk and meat yield.
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