Update on the state of play of animal cloning
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) received in May 2010, a request from the European Commission for an update on the state of play of the possible scientific developments on the issue of cloning of farmed animals for food production purposes. The present statement follows the EFSA 2009 statement and EFSA 2008 scientific opinion and is based on a review of identified peer reviewed scientific literature up to 1 July 2010, information made available to EFSA following a call for data, discussion with experts in the field of animal cloning and a peer review by external experts. Based on the literature search and information provided, it is concluded that there is still limited information available on species other than cattle and pigs which would allow for assessment of food safety and animal health and welfare aspects. Cloning efficiency in cattle (currently around 10 %) and pigs (currently around 6 %) is lower than by natural breeding (cattle calving rate 40-55 %) as well as from assisted reproductive technologies (ART), such as artificial insemination. However, compared with in vitro produced embryos and embryo transfer in pigs, cloning has similar efficiency (~ 6 %). No new information has become available, since the EFSA 2009 statement and the EFSA 2008 scientific opinion that would lead, at this point in time, to a reconsideration of the conclusions and recommendations related to the food safety, animal health and welfare aspects of animal cloning as considered in the 2008 scientific opinion and the EFSA 2009 statement.