Or rather, animal cloning began ages ago and produced animals that have, in one form or another, entered the human food chain.
According to European officials the probability is that thousands of dairy and meat products have been on sale in British supermarkets.
The Food Standards Agency (the other FSA) has now admitted that cloned animal foodstuffs entered the food chain last year, even though it is illegal. EU officials have also pointed out that the semen used to impregnate cows and pigs could have been imported and so many animals could have originated from a clone. The Department of Agriculture has confirmed it does not monitor the originating source animal of the imported semen.
There is currently no proof that eating cloned animal products is bad for human health, but animal rights groups point out that cloned animals have shorter life spans so it is detrimental to them.
But having digested the news reports today I realise that for the past year (or possibly more), unless I was a strict vegan, I have unknowingly possibly (probably) been digesting cloned animal meat or dairy produce as well.
The FSA say they have located two cloned bulls, One, ‘Dundee Paratrooper’, was slaughtered in 2006 and the meat eaten by the public. The second ‘Dundee Perfect’ was slaughtered in 2010 and the meat did not get into the food chain.
There are also unconfirmed reports that milk from a cloned animal is being sold in Britain. The FSA do not confirm whether this is from the animal ‘Dundee Paradise’, which is part of a dairy herd at present.
It seems that to get cloned food past the FSA you have to make a ‘novel foods’ application under the Novel Foods Regulations.
Back in 2008 the European Food Safety Authority put out a draft opinion that meat and milk from cloned farm animals should be allowed into the food chain. This was even though death and disease within cloned animals was higher than in naturally bred animals. Well, they seem to have got their way in the end.
The Soil Association spokesman at the time, Gundula Azeez said back then "Cloning involves ghastly and invasive techniques. The EFSA committee says there is no food safety issue, but how can they know? The research has not been done. When you have lots of clones dying at birth or suffering terrible malformations, that should raise serious questions of food safety which need to be understood."
Is nothing we now eat natural in any form?
How long is it going to be before cloned people are eating this cloned meat and cheese?
But maybe more importantly, where is the public outrage?