European Commission request to EFSA for advice on the implications of animal cloning on food safety, animal health and welfare and the environment

Animal cloning issues cut across different EFSA Panels. Therefore EFSA’s Scientific Committee, which includes the chairs of all of EFSA’s Panels, will lead this work. EFSA understands the Commission’s request for opinions both from EFSA and the European Group of Ethics, as cloning also involves issues beyond EFSA’s remit.

At present in Europe cloning is not a commercial practice and there is no specific regulation on the authorisation of food products from cloned animals for human consumption in the EU. EFSA’s opinion will therefore help inform any future EU measures for cloned animals and their products.

EFSA has already begun considering how best to address this issue in anticipation of the possibility of such a request, and will now discuss with the Commission the request received. A final mandate will be agreed with the Commission, taking into account issues such as the proposed timetable for working on such a complex opinion.

Terms of reference of the EC request

The European Commission requests the European Food Safety Authority to advise on food safety, animal health, animal welfare and environment implication of live cloned animals, obtained through somatic cell nucleus transfer (SCNT) technique, their offspring and of the products obtained from those animals.

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