European Union lawmakers have rejected a proposal to allow the sale in Europe of food derived from cloned animals or their offspring, citing ethical concerns over the industrial production of cloned meat.
The European Parliament was voting on legislation to regulate the sale of “novel foods” – defined as food made with new production processes or that had not been widely consumed in the 27-nation bloc before 1997.
“Cloned animals suffer disproportionately highly from illnesses, malformations and premature death,” said Kartika Liotard, a Dutch lawmaker.
Lawmakers called on the EU’s executive arm to propose additional legislation explicitly banning the sale of meat from cloned animals.
The parliament said it also had concerns over the safety of food products developed using nanotechnology, and demanded a moratorium on their sale until they have undergone specific safety assessments.
If agreed, this could have an impact on nanotechnology products already on sale in the EU. In future, any approved foods containing nano-ingredients should be clearly labelled as such, the lawmakers said.