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EU: CETA and cloned cattle
by Editor (comments: 0)
A research commissioned by the Greens/EFA Group in the EU Parliament and carried out by Testbiotech revealed it is likely that cloned cattle stemming from cloned bulls have entered the EU.
Cloning in cattle breeding
Animals bred from cloned bulls do not have to be labelled or registered in the EU so breeding animals deriving from cloned bulls cannot be identified except for a professional breeders' database in the UK. 30 to 40 tons of bull sperm enter the EU from the US, plus imports from Canada, for cattle breeding every year. This material could derive from cloned bulls because the US is known to clone in the cattle breeding sector. Only the breeders know if material from cloned bulls is used and this information is not available to the public.
Lack of transparency
The European Parliament advocates a ban on cloned animals for food production in the EU. They do so mostly for animal welfare reasons. The result is the EU Parliament and other institutions want more transparency and registration of clones, their offspring and breeding material. At the moment authorities, farmers, food producers and the consumers have no access to information. Testbiotech's position was clear: it called for clarity in this issue before the final vote by the EU Parliament on CETA. Otherwise the free trade agreement could make it more difficult to achieve registration - a backward step in terms of the EU's goals, achievements, transparency and consumer choice.