Danish shops selling meat sourced from offspring of cloned animals

Ministry admits products have probably found their way onto the Danish market

According to the Ministry for Food and Agriculture, meat and milk sourced from the offspring of cloned farm animals has found its way onto supermarket shelves in Denmark.

Because these products are not clearly labelled, Danish shops and restaurants are probably not even aware they are selling it.

Imported from North America
Although the EU and Denmark are against using cloning techniques for breeding animals, beef and milk from the offspring of clones is being imported into Europe from United States, Canada, Argentina and Brazil.

“A large part comes from North America where cloning techniques are becoming more common,” Henrik Callesen, a professor at Aarhus University, told Ingeniøren.

The EU imports 2.5 percent of all bull semen used for breeding, but some member states import up to 20 percent.

Genetically identical
“I can say with certainty that it is not possible to buy meat sourced from first-generation cloned animals in Denmark, but meat from the offspring of cloned animals is probably already here,” Hanne Boskov Hansen, a special consultant at the Ministry for Food and Agriculture, stated.

Consumers do not have to worry about food safety as all research shows that meat and milk from the offspring of cloned animals is safe and absolutely identical to regular meat and milk.

Right to an informed choice
However, since there are no rules on labelling such meat in the USA and Canada, it is impossible to identify cloned meat from non-cloned.

This means that any labelling in the EU would require a comprehensive record of all produced and reared animals if consumers should have the option to make an informed choice.

The cost of a labelling scheme is currently being studied, and by the end of this year, the European Commission will reconsider the extent of a future ban on cloning for agricultural purposes.