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Members of the European Parliamentary Intergroup meeting in Strasbourg today listened to developments in the field of cloning at a legislative level and re-iterated their demand for a full ban to prevent the sale and import of food from cloned animals and their offspring respecting the wishes of Europe’s citizens and to introduce legislation this year that will actively stop cloning taking place in the European Union.

Cloning, a technique to reproduce identical animals is very controversial and opposed on ethical, animal welfare and health grounds, due to the many animals that die in the process and the suffering it causes during pregnancy and birth. Scientists agree that the health and welfare of a significant proportion of cloned animals is seriously affected and mortality is considerably higher than with sexually reproduced animals.

Speaking during the meeting Kartika Liotard MEP, a previous Rapporteur on the Cloning dossier stated “Products from clones and the descendants of clones, including imports from third countries, should be banned in the EU, or at the very least have a mandatory label. The European Parliament is united on this issue and will continue its efforts to uphold the highest standards of animal welfare and make sure consumers are informed to the fullest extent.

Commenting on the new proposals released by the European Commission at the end of 2013 she added: “The new Commission proposals on cloning do not meet these two goals and are therefore totally unacceptable. The Commission should be guided by democratic principles and should incorporate demands from European citizens and their representatives; the Commission must not be a pawn of profit-hungry foreign biotech companies.”

Also speaking at today’s meeting Dr Kirsty Reid of Eurogroup for Animals clearly stated “Eurogroup is concerned over the weak proposals of the Commission, which would not lead to an end of the cloning process, with animal health and welfare concerns remaining”

She added: “The proposals only introduce a provisional ban on cloning for food and on the placing on the market of animal clones, and the emphasis is placed on Member states which must introduce legislation to prohibit the cloning of animals and the placing on the market of animal clones.  As far as Eurogroup is concerned the proposals do not go far enough. As they do not take into account the offspring and food products from animal clones. These are the real products which will reach the EU market.”

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