Cloning Around

It was disclosed last week in the UK that eight calves have been born from a single cloned cow.

The mother, produced from the ear cells of a milking cow in a US laboratory, was artificially inseminated and the embryos later removed and implanted in surrogate mother cows in the UK.

The calves—four cows and four bulls—none of which are clones, were born in the Midlands. Four were born at Smiddiehill Holsteins in Albrighton, Shropshire, but it is not known where the other four were born as the herd has since been broken up
and sold.

Defra, the food and farming department, officials have stated that they are uncertain of how many cloned offspring exist on British farms and have since been criticized for their complacency with regard to clone farming.

In the USA, human consumption of meat from cloned animals is permitted, but in the UK the situation is more complicated. The Food Standards Agency has investigated cloned farming and has revealed that it considers it a ‘dangerous manipulation of nature’ and fears scientists are moving too fast.

Furthermore, the European Food Safety Authority is due to publish a final report on its scientists’ research into the implications of produce from cloned animals on food safety, animal health and welfare and the environment, requested by the European Commission.

Daily Telegraph
Daily Mail

Victoria Blackshaw

[email protected]

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