EU クローン動物の食用肉とミルクを承認せず

EU クローン技術による牛乳牛肉の承認に失敗
画像 ヨーロッパ食品安全当局はクローン技術で生み出された動物からのミルクと肉に健康証明書を与えることをしなかった。1月のドラフト案より最終報告ではより厳しい安全保証の報告となった。EU倫理委員会の早期のアセスメントではネガティブだった。
 欧州委員会は両方のレポートを考慮して決定しなければならない。
 米国FDAは対照的に、安全と結論した。1月に、牛、豚、およびヤギのクローンからの肉とミルクが、従来の繁殖方法による動物からの食物と同じくらい、食べるために安全であったと断定した。
 欧州人は、米国との間で何年もの間貿易摩擦をおこしている遺伝子組み替えの作物に続き、よりいっそう用心深いアプローチをとろうとしているようだ。食物に関してバイオテクノロジーに対する欧州人の抵抗がいぜんとして高い。動物をクローン技術で生み出すことがまだ若く、不確実なテクノロジーであるのに対して、科学者は、それが改善することを期待している。理論的には、病気に抵抗性のある食用牛豚を作ることは可能である。
 欧州倫理委員会から、食品供給のために動物をクローン技術で生み出すことが倫理的に正当であるかどうかについての疑念が出された。生存不能な奇形を持った動物が相対的に効率に出現するという問題である。
 動物の健康と福祉に対する懸念が大きい。データが欠如しており、食品安全性にいくつかの未解決な問題がある。
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Europe Fails to Endorse Milk and Meat From Clones
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/25/business/worldbusiness/25clone.html?_r=1&ref=health&oref=slogin

By STEPHEN CASTLE
Published: July 25, 2008

BRUSSELS ― The European Food Safety Authority pulled back on Thursday from giving milk and meat from cloned animals a clean bill of health, making it less likely that such products could reach store shelves in Europe anytime soon.
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Denis Sinyakov/Reuters

Robert Dudley, chief executive of the joint venture TNK-BP, says he will temporarily run the company from outside Russia.

The final report from the authority, an independent advisory body, was less reassuring about safety than a draft in January. An earlier assessment by a European ethics committee was negative.

The European Commission, which must decide whether to approve such products, will take both reports into account.

The findings also contrast with those of the United States Food and Drug Administration, which concluded this year that such products were safe ― although a voluntary moratorium on marketing them remains in place.

Europeans seem likely to take an even more cautious approach, similar to that followed with genetically modified crops ― which has led to years of trade friction with the United States. Surveys show resistance in Europe to biotechnology remains high, especially when it comes to food.

While cloning animals is still a young and inefficient technology, scientists expect it to improve. In theory, the procedure can produce meatier cows or pigs that are better able to resist diseases.

But in its statement Thursday, the authority said that “uncertainties in the risk assessment arise due to the limited number of studies available, the small sample sizes investigated and, in general, the absence of a uniform approach that would allow all the issues relevant to this opinion to be more satisfactorily addressed.”

Some of the same points were mentioned in the draft report, but they were given less weight.

A spokeswoman for the authority, Karen Talbot, acknowledged that there was a change of emphasis in the new findings, which followed months of consultations with industry bodies, trade and farming associations, consumer groups and nongovernmental organizations.

“The conclusions are not fundamentally different,” she said, “but, after the consultation, they have acknowledged more clearly what they do know and what they don’t know.”

The chairman of the authority’s scientific committee, Vittorio Silano, said that for cattle and pigs, food safety concerns were “unlikely.” But, he added, “the evidence base, while growing and showing consistent findings, is still small.”

The opinion Thursday is one of three pieces of advice that will be considered by the commission, which would have to give authorization for food from cloned animals to be marketed within the 27-nation European Union.

Another opinion emerged in January in a report by the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies.

It said that there were “doubts as to whether cloning animals for food supply is ethically justified.”

It added that it did “not see convincing arguments to justify the production of food from clones and their offspring.”

The food safety authority’s report Thursday also noted health and animal welfare problems associated with cloning. In practice, the process produces a relatively high proportion of deformed animals that cannot survive, although such rates will probably decline as the technology improves.

The third element to be considered by the commission is an opinion survey, which is expected to be available in the fall.

“We are gathering the pieces of the puzzle. Then we will consult with the member states, stakeholders and the European Parliament,” a European Commission spokeswoman on health issues, Nina Papadoulaki, said.

During its consultation process, which began after the draft report was released, the food safety authority said that it had received 285 submissions from 64 interested parties, including individuals, organizations and national risk-assessment bodies.

In a statement issued after a Feb. 7 meeting, the panel noted that the main issue “was the strength of the evidence base on which to reach conclusions.”

“A related point made by a number of participants was the need for ongoing research into cloning,” it added.

In January, the F.D.A. concluded that meat and milk from clones of cattle, swine and goats were as safe to eat as food from conventionally bred animals. It asked the cloning industry to adhere to a voluntary moratorium on putting cloned products into the food chain to prepare for a smooth transition.

The European Commission said the latest opinion pointed to unresolved issues.

“The very preliminary reaction to this report is that it gives rise to increased concerns on aspects of animal of animal health and welfare,” it said. It said that because of the absence of data, there were some open questions on food safety.

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