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17 September 2010

EFSA has published today a scientific statement on animal cloning following the endorsement of its Scientific Committee. The Scientific Committee concurred that no new scientific information has recently becomeavailable that would requirereconsideration of the conclusions and recommendations from the Authority’s previous work in this area (1). The EFSA statement is based on a review of the most recent scientific research on animalclones and their offspring found in: peerreviewed scientific literature published since its previous statement in 2009; information gathered during the recent call for data from European research centres and elsewhere; and furtherdiscussions with scientific experts onanimal cloning. Following a thoroughreview of the relevant scientific information, EFSA confirms its previous conclusions and recommendations that:- mortality rates and the number ofanimals born with developmental abnormalities are higher in animal clones than in conventionally bredanimals.- in relation to food safety, there is noindication that differences exist for meat and milk of clones and their progeny compared with those from conventionally bred animals.- there is still limited information available on cloning of species otherthan cattle and pigs, therefore at themoment risk assessment can be carried out only for these two species.The current statement provides anupdate on the scientific developments onthe cloning of farmed animals for food production with respect to food safetyaspects as well as those relating to thehealth and welfare of animal clones andtheir offspring. EFSA’s statement alsoprovides information on the efficiency ofcloning in comparison with natural breeding and assisted reproductive technologies.References1. ‘General function’ claims defined under Article 13.1 of the Regulation 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foodinclude: The role of a nutrient/substance ingrowth, development and the functions ofthe body; psychological and behaviouralfunctions; slimming and weight control or reduction of hunger, increase of satiety orthe reduction of available energy from thediet. These claims do not include thoserelated to children’s development orhealth or disease risk reduction. The list of4,637 claims was submitted to EFSA by theEuropean Commission between July 2008 and March 2010.