Many constituents have raised with me the EU’s vote on the cloning of animals. My response is below:
Thank you for emailing me regarding the upcoming plenary vote on the report on cloning of animals kept and reproduced for farming purposes.
Your Labour MEPs fully support the report. We are of the opinion that the proposal made initially by the European Commission should go much further and completely ban the use of cloning in animal production for farm purposes of all animal species and as such, should take the form of a regulation. We also support a ban on the imports of germinal products from cloned animals and their descendants as well as the imports of food products from cloned animals and their descendants.
We believe that such a prohibition is necessary, in line with expectations of the public, concerns about welfare conditions of cloned animals, threats to biodiversity and the current situation in the European agricultural sector which does not need to resort to cloning in animal reproduction.
Moreover, we demand from the EU Member States to ensure that all animals imported into the EU are proven not to be clones or descendants thereof, and that no food or germinal products derived from clones or their offspring are imported into the EU. We expect the European Commission and the authorities of EU Member States to enforce this ban to apply in the entire EU single market.
Importantly, the prohibition of placing on the EU market of cloned animals, their offspring and products derived from them would entail a requirement for the EU trading partners to introduce traceability and labelling requirements akin to those long implemented in the EU.
This will in effect benefit EU farmers, food producers and consumers by reinforcing the global outreach of Europe’s leading animal welfare and food standards. Furthermore, with pursuing a requirement of traceability and labelling, the EU would be able to inflict significant pressure on our partners in any trade negotiations. Labour MEP Jude Kirton-Darling led the work of the International Trade Committee for this legislation. She secured the inclusion of amendments in the committee to make the proposed temporary ban permanent and to broaden it to clones’ offspring, while ensuring that this would be compatible with the EU’s obligations in the World Trade Organisation.
Thank you once again for raising this important issue.
Afzal Khan MEP